Monday saw the Boro full-back returned to the fray for the first time since early March, replacing the injured Fabio da Silva with 17 minutes played.
And with another three top flight games coming up over the next ten days, Friend says Boro have plenty of reasons to be positive.
“Everyone’s got something to play for, the boys at the top are fighting for the league title and we’re fighting for survival,” Friend said.
“Arsenal are competing for the Champions League and we really gave them a game.
“We go to Bournemouth with a lot of confidence, and we still have that game in hand as well.”
Friend feels Boro were unlucky not to get anything from The Gunners, but says that’s a mark of Boro’s level of performance in recent weeks.
“We started very well, and all the boys worked really hard,” he said.
“Sometimes you don’t get the rub of the green but one of those scrappy goals will go in for us and that will be the difference.
“It’s a tough one to take but we’ve got a great group in the dressing room and we’ll stay strong.
“We always said we would be happy to finish 17th. We knew it would be tough but it’s still in our hands.”