After last seasons overall disappointment Middlesbrough have carried off exactly how they ended the last campaign, on fire!
Almost 12 months ago Boro found themselves some distance behind their pre-season target of promotion languishing in 22nd in the league. Since then and following the introduction of local hero Tony Mowbray as manager there is much higher optimism around the club.
Finishing the last campaign in great form, Mowbray has seen his team continue that through to this season and are currently second in the league and unbeaten in their opening 10 games. Despite the overall lack of investment in his team Mowbray has kept hold of the majority of last seasons squad, changing the teams overall shape and mentality has worked wonders.
Marvin Emnes, signed under the Gareth Southgate regime was 12 months ago out of the picture and loaned out to Swansea. However manager Mowbray gave Emnes a second chance, which has worked wonders with the Dutchman flying so far this season scoring 8, more than he has scored in the previous 18 months at the club, earning himself player of the month in August.
The expectation surrounding the club is ultimately rising each week, their magnificent run has seen them re-write the record books for the best start to a season for over 100 years.
However with such depleted resources and squad, those placing bookmaker free bets will tell you that it is a tough ask for Boro to continue such high quality for the duration of the season.
Despite the strong start to the season and the clubs form things within the area itself are hard, keeping fans away. The last home game against Leicester saw just 16,000 attend which for a club who are second in the league it’s hard to see attendances going much higher. This is sad as without its fans a club is nothing.
Middlesbrough fans are not getting carried away and know their teams run won’t go on for the duration of the season but are enjoying it while it lasts.
I personally have always been pessimistic about Boro and still believe they will finish 8th, which is where I predicted at the start of the season.
Time will tell, but any Premiership predictions will have to be put on hold for now.
Craig Miller - Follow Craig On Twitter