Agnew dejected by Middlesbrough's survival chances

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Steve Agnew has acknowledged Middlesbrough's chances of staying in the Premier League are slim after their 4-2 defeat to Hull City.

Middlesbrough caretaker manager Steve Agnew emphasised that the club must be realistic about their chances of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

Despite netting two first-half goals, Middlesbrough's defence failed to cope with a rampant Hull City front line at the KCOM Stadium, as Marco Silva's side eased to a 4-2 victory.

The result leaves Middlesbrough seven points adrift of safety with just eight fixtures remaining, and Agnew has acknowledged the scale of the challenge ahead.

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"I am bitterly disappointed and everyone is," Agnew told BBC Sport. "We have to be realistic. We have a huge challenge and the players will never give in. We have eight games left.

"It is not the result we wanted. To score the goal early on, from that goal we got carried away with the emotions of the game.

"We were poor defensively and everyone takes responsibility for that. It was a big game and we have got to find a balance between scoring goals and staying solid at the back."

Silva, on the other hand, was able to reflect on a second-successive victory for his team, but reaffirmed that Hull must continue to improve if they are to move clear of the bottom three.

"We controlled the game, showed good focus in our back line and it was not easy for our players," he told BBC Sport.

"We controlled all of the second half, I don't remember one shot on our goal, though we need to learn to react.

"When I came things were not good, the atmosphere was not the best, many people didn't believe. If you don't believe, it is impossible. Today was a good day but nothing is finished today."

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