Were ready to scrap for survival, says Bailey
NICKY Bailey has admitted he did not envisage taking part in a relegation fight when he joined Middlesbrough in the summer, but the midfielder insists he is ready to give his all in the scrap for survival. Bailey was one of Gordon Strachan's flagship signings when he made a £1.4m move from Charlton, and in his first press conference on Teesside, the 26-year-old talked of his excitement at joining a club that would be pushing for promotion. Instead, he finds himself playing for a Boro side that is struggling in 23rd position in the Championship ahead of this weekend's game with high-flying Cardiff City. As a result, his aims and ambitions have changed, but while second-tier safety is now the name of the game, the Londoner insists his commitment to the cause remains unaltered. I didn't expect to be down there, said Bailey, who has featured in 18 of Boro's 20 Championship matches this season. Obviously, I'm part of the team that is down there though, so it's up to me as well as everyone else to get us out of it. We're down there for a reason and we have to look at ourselves, see what we're doing wrong and go out in training and try to put it right. We know we're in a relegation battle at the moment and we have to get out of it as quickly as we can. When Bailey was transferred in the summer, he arrived on Teesside with a reputation for being a goalscoring midfielder capable of changing a game. So far, there has been very little evidence of his attacking prowess, but with the likes of Gary O'Neil and Kevin Thomson having struggled against injury for the majority of the campaign, he has been forced to perform a more defensive role. In the last couple of games, I've been doing a more defensive job, just holding the team together, said Bailey. Obviously I want to score goals, and they'll hopefully start coming when I start getting in the box when the manager wants me to. But it does not bother me really, I'd like to be scoring goals but the main thing is to be in the team. Meanwhile, Cardiff striker Craig Bellamy has promised to add to Boro's woes at the weekend. The Bluebirds have picked up just one point from their last three matches, and will be without newly-capped England international Jay Bothroyd when they travel to the Riverside. Nevertheless, Bellamy is confident they will get their season back on track with a win. At the moment, we're not playing at the level we are capable of, and there's loads more we can improve on, said the former Newcastle United striker. But we go to Middlesbrough this weekend and we can definitely do something there. That's what excites me about this team this season there's a lot more to come from us.
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