McDonald targets play-offs

Boro forward backing Strachan to succeed

McDonald: Boro switch

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New Middlesbrough forward Scott McDonald believes Gordon Strachan's new-look side are ready to press for a play-off place.

The Australian striker was one of five players who left Celtic in January to be reunited with former Parkhead manager Strachan at the Riverside.

Former Bhoys boss Strachan raided his former club to land McDonald, Stephen McManus, Barry Robson, Willo Flood and Chris Killen.

Boro's form has improved in recent weeks and the North East club are now unbeaten in their last five outings to climb to within two points of the Championship's top six.

McDonald made his bow in Tuesday's 2-1 home victory over Barnsley, only the second match Boro have won at the Riverside since Strachan replaced Gareth Southgate in late October.

And McDonald is confident that he will be able to provide the goals to help the Teesside club stake a claim for an immediate return to the Premier League.

Amazing

He told the Daily Record: "We've now gone five games unbeaten and although we need to turn draws into wins, just by beating Barnsley on Tuesday we now find ourselves two points off the play-offs.

"It's amazing what stringing a few wins together can do for you in this league, so anything might still be possible.

"It was a massive win for the club. From what I'd been reading the manager had won only one home game since taking over so to get a second victory at the Riverside on my debut was very pleasing.

"I felt I was unlucky not to get a debut goal but I think I've seen enough already down here to tell me I should be able to score goals and make an impact in this league.

"Now it's a case of trying to build on this and, for myself, getting back to full fitness as quickly as possible.

"There's a lot of work to do but there's a great feeling among the boys that we are about to start off on another special journey under the gaffer."