GOALSCORER Lee Tomlin believes a greater sense of trust amongst the Middlesbrough squad has been a big reason behind their end of season form.
Tomlin bagged a brace as Boro ended their home account with a 3-1 win over Barnsley, who will start next season in League One after their relegation from the Championship was confirmed.
While disappointing defeats to Millwall and Reading put an end to any hopes of a late push for the play-offs, Boro’s form in recent weeks offers plenty of optimism going into next season.
And Tomlin, who arrived in January from Peterborough, believes a growing spirit amongst a squad finding its feet under a new manager has helped them get over the line in recent games.
Barnsley threatened to end Boro’s home account on a sour note when Jean-Yves M’voto put them in front, but Aitor Karanka’s men showed resilience to run out convincing winners in the end.
“I think it’s credit to the lads that we’ve come out and got the job done in front of the fans,” Tomlin said. “We trusted one another out there and it showed when we went a goal behind. We got ourselves back in it straight away and we’ve put in a good performance in the end.
“I think when I first came we were lacking that trust but since I’ve been here it has grown and grown and given us the confidence to get results. Everyone gets on brilliant and you can see that on the pitch. It’s a good way to finish the season at home.”
Boro end the season with a trip to bottom club Yeovil next Saturday with the Glovers already resigned to returning to League One next season.
While they won’t be up against a side with something to play for, Tomlin insists it is vital Boro end the season on a high.
He said: “We want to win games and that’s what we’ll go to Yeovil and try to do. It’s important to end on a high. We don’t want to go off for the summer on the back of a bad performance or a defeat.
“We want to go out on a high and be able to take that into the next season.”
The Teessiders will end the season lodged in midtable, but there is a sense inside the camp that under Karanka, the side can compete in the higher echelons of the Championships next season.
In six months in charge the Spaniard appears to have ironed out defensive errors that have proved so costly in recent seasons and Tomlin thinks the signs are good going into the summer.
“I think we just need a bit more composure, to not panic when we are passing the ball along the back and not rush things. We’ll go away and work on it and hopefully we come back and do that next season for sure.”