Instead of standing 10 points clear of the relegation zone Boro are now within four points of the bottom three and Southgate admitted his side face a long battle before securing survival.
He added: "It could have been 10 points but it isn't. Anyone from ourselves down is conscious of what is going on around the league and as good a run as we've had we have still got to grind and scrap it out.''
Southgate admitted he had no complaints over the 77th minute incident in which Stewart Downing tumbled in the box but instead of being given a penalty was booked for diving.
Southgate added: "It was hard to see because of the speed at which he was running, so if anything clips him it is going to knock him off balance. I think the referee probably made the right decision.''