Middlesbrough defender Tony McMahon believes a battle against relegation will make the club stronger in the long term.
Ahead of Saturday's visit of Fulham, Gareth Southgate's side sit 19th in the Premier League and are two points from safety.
Boro face an unenviable run-in as the season draws to a conclusion but McMahon is pointing to the positives.
The full-back admits he has been surprised by the slump in fortunes at The Riverside since he broke into the first team, but he feels a fight for survival will be beneficial.
McMahon said: "When I got into the team, in my first season, we finished seventh in the league. Now we are at the bottom fighting to stay in the league.
"But it's going to make us stronger as players and as a club as well when we eventually get out of this."