Bates issues call to crowd

Boro captain hopes fans continue to flock to The Riverside

Matthew Bates: Hopes Boro's fans continue to show their support

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Matthew Bates has told Middlesbrough's fans that they need their full support in the battle for Championship promotion.

Almost 28,000 watched Boro's 1-0 win over Hull City on Boxing Day and comfortably The Riverside's highest crowd of the season saw Barry Robson hit a late winner.

Tony Mowbray's side briefly returned to the automatic promotion places on the back of the victory, although West Ham later overtook them by drawing with Birmingham.

Captain Bates hopes Middlesbrough's fans liked what they saw against Hull and will continue to flock to The Riverside for the New Year's Eve's game against Peterborough.

Funny feeling

"It would be nice if the fans went away having enjoyed themselves," he said. "It was a great winner from Barry and we'll see on Saturday how many come back.

"I have a funny feeling we might have a few thousand more on the gate than previously, but we'll wait and see. It's up to us to prove we're a good team and worth watching, and I think we did that.

"We expected a good crowd with it being Boxing Day and they were fantastic. We were saying that it was just like being back in the Premier League. I've played here in the Uefa Cup days and it was very similar to that.

"They willed the goal in. It was one of those nights where you needed a bit extra, and maybe the crowd gave us that.

"Let's hope we can have that again between now and the end of the season because it will help us along the way to our goal of promotion. Hopefully, some of the fans will come back, that's what we'd like."