Jonathan Hogg belives better teamwork is the answer to ironing out Town’s inconsistency.
The midfield enforcer is looking forward to Tuesday’s Championship clash with his first club Middlesbrough at the John Smith’s Stadium.
But the 25-year-old, who was born and bred and still lives on Teesside, knows the game at Blackpool is very much first on the agenda.
Mark Robins’ side, so slick in beating Barnsley 5-0 three weeks ago, are chasing a first win in four matches on the West coast.
They have been beaten at Doncaster and at home to Blackburn either side of a goalless draw at Charlton.
And Hogg says the battling display at The Valley is an example of the approach Town need to take more often in the final 10 games of the campaign.
“The manager has laid down the way he wants us to play,” said Hogg, who was signed from divisional rivals Watford for £400,000 last close-season.
“It’s served us well in a lot of matches, but we have to earn the right to play the passing game by working hard and doing the basics properly.
“We did that at Charlton, grinding the result out on a difficult pitch.
“We got players behind the ball and pressed as a unit.
“We all wanted to push on against Blackburn last Saturday, but it didn’t work out that way.
“Too often when we have produced a good performance, we’ve not been able to follow it up in the next game.
“We’ve spoken about inconsistency. It’s why we are where we are (16th before the latest round of matches).
“We know need to string some good results together.”
Hogg called for better communication and added: “We need to help each other on the pitch more.
“It’s a team game and we need to work together.”
Town head to Reading next Saturday and Hogg, who moved to Aston Villa in 2009 after coming through the Middlesbrough academy, added: “The next few games are really important.
“The first two of them are against teams around us and we need to be picking up points from them.”
He accepted Town were the architects of their own downfall as Blackburn won 4-2 with the help of a hat trick from old boy Jordan Rhodes and a strike by Craig Conway.
“We were devastated by the result,” said Hogg.
“If you give Jordan Rhodes chances like that he’s always going to score. That’s why he’s a big-money player.
“We felt we gifted them the game. Their goals were down to our mistakes.
“If we hadn’t given them their goals I think we would have won comfortably.
“People have put their hands up, but there’s no individual blame.
“It’s a team game and when a player misses or makes a mistake, we all miss or make a mistake. We’re in it together and it will stay that way.”
Middlesbrough, 13th in the table and a point above Town, are at home to QPR today.
Play-off chasing Reading, who are seventh, visit Birmingham today and host Barnsley on Tuesday.
Boro winger Mustapha Carayol is expected to be out for at least six months because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The 25-year-old, was stretchered off after incurring the injury to his left knee shortly before the end of last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Bournemouth.
The Gambian is expected to undergo surgery in two weeks’ time.
He will be operated on by renowned specialist Andy Williams once the swelling has gone down,” said a club spokesman.
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