Hayden hoping for more

Hayden Mullins has spoken of the determination in the squad to return to winning ways for manager Gianfranco Zola.

At Middlesbrough on Saturday, the 29-year-old midfielder's first goal in two years had looked like giving the club a much-needed three points after four defeats until Mido's cruel late equaliser. "I was very happy to get off the mark," he said. "It's been a long time since I scored a goal so I was very happy with that, but the three points would have been more important."

Mullins has had to wait for his chance this season but has made the most of injuries to Mark Noble and Valon Behrami. The club's second longest-serving first-teamer after Matthew Etherington is not one for complaining about his lot. "You've just got to keep ticking over ... when I'm asked to go and play, I'm going to do my best." He did just that in Saturday's draw, which was harsh on the visitors, after a dynamic team display.

"Knowing that the manager is doing his best, all the players are working so hard for him," Mullins said. "He's a brilliant manager and brings a lot to the side. We're just disappointed for everything that we've been through. The last four results have not been good enough, so that's why we wanted to come up [to the Riverside] and win.

"We knew it was going to be hard because they are a good side, but we created a lot of chances and are disappointed to come away with only a point. We were after the second one. We really needed another one, as it proved, so we're disappointed. We knew they were going to come at us in the second half and hit us with everything they had, which is what they did."

Mullins added that the players "are just lacking that little bit of luck at the moment" but that staying positive "is all you can do really". He added: "We had two tough games against Arsenal and Man United and we knew that it was going to be very difficult, but the manager has come in every week and is still smiling and is bringing all his experience on to the training pitch. That's brilliant for all the boys and we just want to repay him."