Middlesbrough are enduring a good season so far as they attempt to build on the success of last year, and reach the promised land of the Premier League.
Last year they were humbled by Norwich in the play-off final, after manager Aitor Karanka had overseen a magnificent recovery from previous seasons.
This season they have proved there success last season was no fluke, and at the time of writing, are sitting in third place, just two points off top with a game in hand.
Owner Steve Gibson has spent big as Middlesbrough strive for automatic promotion, and this was all capped off by the big January signing of lethal Blackburn frontman Jordan Rhodes.
Joined by other big money signings Nugent and Stuani, they are up at the top challenging.
Last season Middlesbrough took advantage of the loan market to bring in Patrick Bamford who incredibly scored 19 goals and was named Championship Player of the Year.
They have done the same this season, signing Gaston Ramirez, Tomas Kalas and Ritchie de Laet in the loan window, who have all become important squad members.
Middlesbrough have not been as potent in front of goal this season but their impressive backline from last season has been even better this season, with the imperious centre back partnership of Ayala and Gibson, perhaps the best in the division.
Form of wing backs Nsue and Friend have been better than last season too and as soon as Rhodes starts firing in the run in, they may be hard to stop in the battle for automatic promotion.
Here are FIVE things we have learnt about Middlesbrough this season……..
PRESS THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE THE FIVE THINGS!