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Andy Hinchcliffe delivers verdict on Middlesbrough’s chances of achieving a top-six finish

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Sky Sports pundit Andy Hinchcliffe has admitted that he believes that Middlesbrough could potentially challenge for a top-six finish in the Championship this season.

After ending the previous campaign in 10th place in the second-tier, Boro have made a relatively encouraging start to the current term under the guidance of manager Neil Warnock.

Whilst Middlesbrough have stepped up their performance levels in recent weeks by securing victories over Barnsley, Peterborough United and Cardiff City, they were unable to prevent Birmingham City from sealing all three points in last Saturday’s showdown at the Riverside Stadium.

As a result of this defeat, Warnock’s side slipped to 11th in the Championship standings and will now be determined to deliver a response to this setback in their showdown with Luton Town this evening.

Middlesbrough will climb back into the play-off places if they beat Nathan Jones’ side at Kenilworth Road.

Ahead of this particular clash, Hinchcliffe has admitted that he believes that Warnock could help Boro challenge for a top-six finish next year.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast, Hinchcliffe said: “If you are in football as long as Neil Warnock is, you have to adapt as players have changed, the mentality has changed.

“You have to keep a bit of what you are but you do have to adapt the way you coach and the way you talk to players, man-management is so important these days.

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“Neil is still around and he is still proving successful and there is a chance this season with him in charge at Middlesbrough they could creep up and challenge the top-six.”

The Verdict

Hinchcliffe is spot-on as there is no reason why Middlesbrough cannot potentially go on to fight for a play-off place as they have managed to illustrate some real signs of promise this season.

The likes of Matt Crooks and Sol Bamba who both managed to produce stand-out performances for the club in the Championship since sealing permanent moves to the Riverside Stadium whilst Paddy McNair and Dael Fry have also been relatively impressive this season.

In order for Middlesbrough to have the best chance of reaching new heights in this division, it could be argued that Warnock may need to bolster his attacking options in the upcoming window as Andraz Sporar and Uche Ikpeazu have only managed to score a combined total of five goals in the second-tier this season.

If Warnock is able to secure the services of a forward who knows exactly what it takes to deliver the goods at this level in January, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Boro push on in the Championship.

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Freelance writer for Football League World. Previously worked for 90min & GiveMeSport.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Andy Hinchcliffe delivers verdict on Middlesbrough’s chances of achieving a top-six finish

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