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First Team

2019/20 Sky Bet Championship Guide: Middlesbrough

Managerless Boro are next up in our 2019/20 previews

10 June 2019

Middlesbrough 2018/19

League Position: 7th (17/18 5th - Losing Play-Off Semi-Finalists)

Average league attendance: 23,217 (25,544 in 17/18) 

Top league goalscorer: Britt Assombalonga (14)

Many people's bets for automatic promotion before a ball was kicked last August, Middlesbrough failed to live up to their pre-season billing, ending the season outside the Play-Offs and subsequently parting company with manager Tony Pulis last month. 

If missing out on the top six wasn't bad enough, Pulis' dour style of play did little to endear him to the home faithful. Granted he lost the services of both Patrick Bamford and Adama Traore, sold on the eve of the season to balance the books, but Boro's tally of 49 goals in 46 games was a shockingly low return for a side who spent every week, bar one, between August and April in the top six. 

It was a six-game losing run, starting with our 2-1 victory at The Riverside in early March, which dealt the fatal blow to Boro's season. Calls from the stands for change, and a more attack-minded approach, grew louder with each passing week and when Boro failed to make the top six, despite winning five of their last six league matches, the writing was on the wall for Pulis after 18 months at the club. 

The Ground

The Riverside Stadium

Miles from Brentford: 248

Capacity: 34,742

Address: Middlesbrough, TS3 6RS

How to get there

The Manager

Middlesbrough are expected to appoint a new manager this week with former player Jonathan Woodgate the current bookies favourite. Nigel Adkins and Phil Neville saw their odds tumble over the weekend but Woodgate remains very much the front runner. Whoever does take over will be tasked with instilling a more attack-minded approach on Teesside after 18 months of Tony Pulis football. 

The Key Man

Darren Randolph - 2018/19 48 appearances, 19 clean sheets

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Nobody conceded fewer goals than Middlesbrough last season and with Darren Randolph in superb form it wasn't hard to see why. For many the best keeper outside the top flight, the Republic of Ireland number one played every minute in the league for Boro last season and had the best save percentage in the league. The 32-year-old was voted Boro's Player of the Year and earned him a spot in the Championship Team of the Year. 

If Boro's new manager is tasked with bringing a more attacking outlook to Teesside, they will know they are well protected at the other end. 

Last Meeting

Head to Head

Brentford wins: 8

Draws: 5

Middlesbrough wins: 14

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