Middlesbrough’s play-off hopes have been reignited in recent weeks by the club’s form under Chris Wilder.
Many would have felt that Neil Warnock deserved a little more time and patience in the role given the excellent job he did overall, but Wilder has had a clear and noticeable impact that has seen Boro cut the gap between themselves and the top six.
Andraz Sporar grabbed the only goal of the game from the penalty spot as second placed Bournemouth lost out at The Riverside on Saturday, however there is an apparent desire for Wilder to put his own stamp on the team in January to take them to the next level.
Wilder revealed the type of strengthening he will like to carry out on the squad in January when he spoke to TeessideLive.
He said: “January will be huge for us. We want options off the bench and competition for places and we need that if we want a successful second half of the season.
“The owner understands that, Kieran Scott understands that. The reason we came to this football club is to make it better. The players are going along nicely and they have to keep that attitude.”
Boro welcome another in-form side in Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day with the potential to leapfrog their opponents and climb into the play-offs with a victory.
Quiz: Have Middlesbrough signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?
The foundations seem to be in place, Wilder has got a lot more out of an unbalanced squad in the short term than was expected of him when he arrived in early November. There is a need for added cover and quality in that in certain areas of the squad with injuries in key areas weakening the team’s starting XI considerably at times this season. Wilder has a blueprint that he sticks to and an idea of how he wants his sides to play and for them to look like stylistically.
Recruiting players, with a longer term view, that will be able to fit into Wilder’s methods seamlessly will go a long way to cementing their place in the top six over the next few months. It is exciting times at The Riverside Stadium with Wilder paving the way for an eventual return to the Premier League.