FORMER Cannon Slade pupil Ashley Fletcher admits he has been transformed by a fine run of form for Middlesbrough.

The 24-year-old frontman was on target to earn Boro an FA Cup replay with Tottenham Hotspur, scoring his fourth goal in five games against Jose Mourinho’s side.

The one-time Wanderers academy player now has eight for the season. one short of his tally for the whole of the 2018-19 campaign and after a tough run of form, Fletcher now feels at the top of his game.

"When you're a striker and on a roll, you feel so confident and feel like you can't miss”, he told Teeside Live.

“A few months ago it was very different, as we all know. I'm enjoying myself now.

“I just want to keep playing and I'm telling the manager that I don't feel tired or fatigued, confidence is flowing through me.

"I don't think there was a specific turning point for me, you just have to battle through the tough times.

"I think it's just working hard every day. Having the likes of (Boro coach) Robbie (Keane) who's been there, speaking to him every day is fantastic.

"It's reminiscent of Barnsley but obviously this a higher level here. I'm showing what I can do, and I want to kick on now.

"I wouldn't say it's fear, but you start over-thinking things (when you're struggling for goals).

"As soon as you score goals like I have been doing, you have confidence and you don't have to think. It's instinctive. I just want that consistency now.”

Fletcher enjoyed testing himself against Spurs as Boro continued their recent good run having won their last four in the Championship ahead of hosting Derby on Saturday.

"Playing against (Jan) Vertonghen, (Toby) Alderweireld, (Eric) Dier was a massive learning curve,” he said.

“I thought I did okay and held my own and to get the goal was fantastic.

"Confidence is a massive thing in football for the full team. You see the top teams suffer from a lack of confidence and they don't go out and get results.

"This run of form has been coming for us, we've said that for a while. We said we can't let the talking happen in the changing room, it has to happen on the pitch.”

Fletcher joined Bolton aged nine and before being picked up by Manchester United four years later. At Old Trafford, he spent time on loan at Barnsley before moving to West Ham in the summer of 2016.

Twelve months later he was on the move again joining Boro for £6.5 million, spending the end of the 2017-18 season on loan at Sunderland.

A former United team-mate of Marcus Rashford's, he has three England Under-20 caps.