George Boateng's deflected goal in the first half was enough on the day for a crucial three points for Steve McClaren's men.
We enjoyed long spells of possession - particularly in the first half - but struggled to break down's the home side's defence.
The second half was more end-to-end with Boro happy to sit deeper and try to catch us on the counter attack. The succeeded a number of times but didn't add to their single goal.
The result means Boro need a point at Manchester City next weekend to guarantee seventh spot and a UEFA Cup place. But both ourselves and City still have a chance - we have to hope City beat Boro by as few goals as possible and then beat Blackburn at the Lane by enough goals to overhaul them on goal difference.
A disappointed Martin reflected: "We were not on top of our game, to say the least.
"We had confidence from last week's win and some recent away results at Birmingham and Liverpool but if you give away a goal like that in the first 10 minutes, you need a draw.
"People said before that we had to win, but to be honest, they had to win and we needed a draw. After that goal, you have to take all the initiative, leave all the space, and Middlesbrough want to play like that, they drop off.
"In the second half we did better but they defended well. They have a good defence and we couldn't get a goal so there you go, you lose 1-0."
Martin Jol conceded we weren't at our best in Saturday's crunch match at Middlesbrough.