GOALKEEPER Paul Robinson has hailed the strength and resilience which has made Blackburn Rovers one of the meanest machines in the Championship.

Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough means play-off pushing Rovers have now kept 11 clean sheets for the campaign.

That figure is one more than they achieved in the whole of last season and is bettered only by QPR (14) and Brighton & Hove Albion (13).

Robinson was chiefly responsible for their latest shut out as he frustrated top-six rivals Boro with a string of superb stops.

But the fit-again former England international, who has kept three clean sheets in five league games since reclaiming the number one shirt, is quick to salute the team-mates who have helped Rovers become such a tough team to break down.

Robinson said: “I can’t take the credit for the clean sheets as I’ve not even played 11 games yet!

“But definitely the boys are defending well.

“And it’s defending from the front too.

“There’s a real strength and resilience about the team.

“We’ve show our resilience, our strength and toughness of character.

“When things weren’t going well on Saturday we got our heads down, dug in, tried to do the simple things and defend, and we came away with a point.”

The result moved ninth-placed Rovers within four points of sixth-placed Reading, who they travel to on Saturday week for one of the biggest games of their season so far.

But Robinson added: “Every game is important for us now as there are not many left – we’re running out of games.

“We just want to keep ourselves in and around that pack and hopefully make a push for the play-offs.”

Promotion to the Premier League would represent a dream return for Robinson.

He spent more than a year on the sidelines after discovering a blood clot on his lung that could have threatened his life.

Robinson said: “I’m very much enjoying my football and enjoying playing again.”

Rovers will begin their preparations for the crucial Reading clash when they return to training tomorrow after being given two days off by boss Gary Bowyer.

Robinson admits Bowyer’s side – who are without a match this weekend – will have to perform better than they did in the first half against Boro.

He said: “The manager wasn’t happy at half-time with our attitude and application.

“We just weren’t at the races and I think the first half was the worst we have played all season.

“Credit to the lads, we did better in the second half and, while it was not a great performance, it was definitely a point gained at a difficult place to go and play.”