Season Preview - Middlesbrough
Vital QPR takes a look at Championship side Middlesbrough
FACTS & FIGURES
Nickname: The Boro
Ground: The Riverside Stadium - 34,988
Manager: Gordon Strachan
Uefa Cup - Runners Up - 2006
F.A. Cup - Runners Up - 1997
League Cup - Winners - 2004
League Cup - Runners Up -2004
Football League Second Division - Champions - 1926-27, 1928-29, 1973-74, 1994-95
Football League Second Division - Runners Up - 1901-02, 1991-92, 1997-98
Football League Third Division - Runners Up - 1966-67, 1986-87
Record Attendance: 53,802 v Newcastle United (First Division, 1949)
Record league victory: 9-0 v Brighton & Hove Albion - (Second Division, 1958)
Record league defeat 0-9 v Blackburn Rovers - (Second Division, 1954)
Record Buy: £12,800,000 - Alfonso Alves from SC Heerenveen
Record Sale: £12,000,000 - Juninho to Athletico Madrid
Record Appearances: Tim Williamson - 602
Record Goals: George Camsell 345
Gordon Strachan's Boro will have to hit the ground running this season, as the pressure and expectation mount after a succession of positive signings.
Glasgow Rangers duo Kevin Thomson and Kris Boyd are the headliners with the likes of Nicky Bailey and Tarmo Kink set to play a role in Boro's drive for promotion.
While trying to purchase the SPL single-handedly Strachan can also take heart in a fine youth system as he looks to ride the wave of expectation and take Boro into the Premier League.
As it has been for many clubs the weight of expectation could be too much to bear, but they can take solace from their Tyneside neighbours who flew through the division last season.
A plethora of attacking talent need to be matched by a solid defensive unit if Boro are to claim a top two spot, but at times last season Middlesbrough showed to be all too inconsistent.
I would back them to take a playoff place this season and the calibre of talent at their disposal and the eye for a big game, could be enough to see them through via that avenue.
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