Patrick Bamford 'excited' by Middlesbrough's promotion battle

Jelle Vossen (left) and Patrick Bamford
Jelle Vossen (left) and Patrick Bamford combined to help Boro edge past Ipswich

Middlesbrough forward Patrick Bamford says his side are relishing their tussle for promotion from the Championship this season.

Boro are in a three-game sequence against play-off hopefuls Ipswich, who they beat 4-1 on Saturday, Tuesday's opponents Derby and then Bournemouth.

Boro and leaders Cherries are level on points and Derby are two points behind.

"We'd rather play teams like this rather than those who are scrapping to stay in the league," said Bamford.

Tight at the top of the Championship
* Watford ahead of Middlesbrough by virtue of goals scored

"To go to teams like Derby and Bournemouth makes it a massive game with where we are in the league."

Aitor Karanka's Teessiders have the tightest defence in the Championship with just 27 goals conceded, but their attack is the least prolific of all the top-six clubs, netting 58.

Saturday's result was a fillip for the forwards, notably Bamford who took his personal tally to 15 in all competitions with his double.

"I've heard recently as a team we've been getting a bit of stick for maybe not scoring as many goals as the other teams like Bournemouth who have scored freely," Bamford told BBC Tees.

"To be able to put on a good show for the fans is really good, especially on TV."

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