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Albion boss plays down promotion talk
Oscar Garcia has silenced talk of another Championship promotion challenge by Albion.
The head coach has not mentioned the play-offs to his players and he does not want them thinking about them either.
Albion are back up to tenth, three points behind FA Cup opponents Reading in sixth and Nottingham Forest in fifth, following Saturday’s 3-1 win against ex-leaders Leicester at The Amex.
The Seagulls were only two points closer at the corresponding stage last season, when they finished fourth under Gus Poyet, but Oscar refuses to look too far ahead.
The Spaniard said: “My players haven’t heard from me this word (play-offs), they only hear the name of the next team we are playing. That is the way I want to work.
“It’s a big mistake for them to think about this. They have to think about the next game and winning the next game and then at the end of the season or maybe one month before we will see where we are."
Saturday's hosts Middlesbrough, in 18th, are only four points clear of the relegation zone but won their only home game so far under Oscar's fellow Spaniard Aitor Karanka against Bolton last month.
Albion defender Adam El-Abd said: "You go into every game not knowing who is going to win, because it's on the day.
"If we go in with that mindset - that we have got to be on our game otherwise it might not go our way - then we will have more positive results than negative.
"It's difficult to call it. I'd like to think we'll be up there but I won't take anything for granted."
Oscar is waiting for confirmation on the extent of the injuries to goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak (stomach muscle) and captain Gordon Greer (calf) which affected their involvement against Leicester.
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