(Reuters) - Middlesbrough must treat every game as a final starting with Monday's home fixture against Arsenal as they battle for Premier League survival, goalkeeper Victor Valdes has said.
The Teesside club, who are second-bottom and six points adrift of the safety zone, are on a 14-game winless league run, with their last victory coming in December.
Valdes is hopeful Middlesbrough can perform a rescue act despite having to face four of the top six clubs in the last seven games of the campaign.
"Every game now is a final for us, in the position we're in," Valdes told the club website. (www.mfc.co.uk)
"We haven't had the best results but now we have seven games to play and hopefully we can start that with three points.
"I know it's difficult because we don't have a lot of games left, and the teams we're playing against can be dangerous."
Valdes, who joined Boro at the start of the season, kept his first clean sheet in the reverse fixture at Arsenal last October.
Valdes knows the defence must deliver another resolute performance if they are to defeat sixth-placed Arsenal, who have lost their last four league games on the road.
"It was important to get a clean sheet (at Arsenal) because it meant a lot to me as a keeper and the defensive line," the 35-year-old said.
"Arsenal are still one of the best teams in the world, they are not in a good moment but they have a lot of high quality players that will come here to play against us."
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris