(Reuters) - Middlesbrough must believe that they can end their current slump to avoid a swift return to England’s second tier, striker Rudy Gestede has said ahead of the side’s Premier League showdown against Arsenal on Monday.
Middlesbrough, who are the league’s lowest scorers with 22 goals, have not won a league game since mid-December and are languishing in 19th, six points adrift of safety with seven games remaining.
“We have to believe we can do it. You have to have this positivity to keep going... otherwise you won’t win anything. I think we’ve all got that same message, the same attitude and mentality,” Gestede told the club’s website.
Gestede, who has made 10 appearances for Middlesbrough after joining from Championship side Aston Villa in January, is hopeful that a change of luck can propel Boro, who were promoted last season, towards survival.
Sixth-placed Arsenal have won just one of their last five league games and will be hurting after a 3-0 defeat to 16th-placed Crystal Palace earlier this week.
“They are a big team, and even if they lose one game they will have a response. Arsenal have quality in the squad and they are used to playing under pressure,” Gestede added.
“We need to be focused and be ready to step up and show we can play in our way.”
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru