Head coach Aitor Karanka says Middlesbrough's victories against Cardiff and Huddersfield highlighted the team's defensive improvement.
Boro are within a point of leaders Bournemouth after the 2-1 win against the Bluebirds on Tuesday, thanks to Patrick Bamford and Lee Tomlin goals.
The Teessiders's brace of successes extends the unbeaten run to five games.
"One year ago we conceded lots of goals by stupid mistakes and now the team is consistent," Karanka told BBC Tees.
"The team defends really well, we're organised and we held the ball.
"We haven't created many chances but we scored two goals. It's important in keeping our confidence."
Although Karanka felt his side failed to match their usual level of performance in both matches, he was pleased that points had been accrued in what he believes is a difficult and competitive Championship.
"If we look at the table you can see the points we've accumulated," he added.
"We can say we played really well against Blackburn, Blackpool, Reading and Watford but we didn't win the game.
"Today we have six more points than we did before the Huddersfield game."