Gordon Greer is aiming to finish the season on a high when Brighton & Hove Albion play promotion-chasing Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium today.
The Seagulls have secured two victories in their previous two visits to North Yorkshire but the Albion skipper is expecting a tough test against the defensively resolute Teesiders.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “Middlesbrough have got the best defence in the league; they are built from the back and are solid.
“Going back to when we played against them at the Amex [Albion lost 2-1], we were well in the game and were probably the better team. They defended really well that day, but we just couldn’t break them down. They’ve got some good players and I’m sure it will be a tough game.
“They are in the play-offs and the game doesn’t really matter as far as the table is concerned, but it means something for personal pride.
“Under normal circumstances they would want to keep the winning mentality going, but when you’re in a position where you can’t move up or down, then Aitor Karanka might rest a few players and focus on the play-off games.
“For us, it’s been a strange season with plenty of ups and downs, but we want to go out on a high in the last game of the season. We’ve not had much to cheer about over the last few months, so hopefully we will finish the season with a win.”
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The Scotland international admits the season has been a learning curve and he has his eyes firmly set on another play-off challenge next season.
“I’ve managed to play a lot of games and I’ve had some great experiences with Scotland, so it’s been positive in that sense. We’ve been struggling as a team in the league and not performed as well as we can, so you always look back and think what you could have done better.
“You don’t get success if you’re always conceding goals, so it’s important you keep clean sheets. On the other hand, it’s important that you score goals because it’s the goals that win you the games. We will be working hard in the summer and hopefully we can kick on next season.
“What we need to take from this season is the feeling that we don’t want to be here again. All the boys are hungry for success, so we will be giving everything when the games come around next year and hopefully we can be challenging near the top of the table.”