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O'Neill issues rallying call to Middlesbrough players

Middlesbrough captain Gary O'Neil is targeting a Christmas fightback for the Teessiders to get back into the Championship promotion race. Boro trail leaders Newcastle by 20 points and second-placed West Brom by 10 after last Sunday's derby defeat at St James' Park.

But O'Neil is confident the Boxing Day clash with Scunthorpe and the subsequent visit to Barnsley can kick-start a drive back up the table.

He said: "Every game is important now because we are getting a long way behind, especially the top two.

"We need to go on a run of winning. We need to make sure we pick up three points on the 26th and the 28th, and then hopefully the gaffer might get a chance to strengthen in January and we can push on."

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