Neil Warnock has revealed that Middlesbrough won’t secure automatic promotion as they’re too inconsistent.
After being embroiled in a relegation battle last term, expectations were fairly low coming into the new campaign as supporters looked to set their sights on a safe mid-table finish.
Based on results so far, they might be able to aim slightly higher.
Middlesbrough are firmly in the chasing pack to secure a play-off spot, however they were very much in the top six just a couple of weeks ago before a mixed run of results took hold.
Two defeats from their last three games has seen Warnock’s side lose momentum, and while they’re still very much in the race for the play-offs, the Boro boss believes that he’s already seen enough to suggest that a top two finish is unachievable.
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As quoted by Teesside Live, Warnock said: “I already know whether we’re good enough for automatic promotion – no, we’re not, because we’re too inconsistent.
“But I don’t think there’s anybody in the league to stop anyone getting in the play-offs from the top 12 to 14 teams.
“My old team Cardiff last year, when I left and said I think they’ll get in the play-offs, they were 14th, but I looked at the fixtures and thought in the second half of the season with the team we had there they could easily get in.
“And I think they finished fifth and they were unlucky at Fulham (in the play-offs).
“Anything is possible in the Championship in the second half of the season but I don’t think we’re good enough squad wise to cater for injuries to get automatic promotion.”
Warnock added: “I’ve always said to the players if we can be two or three points off the play-offs (in January) I’ll be delighted.
“Nothing has changed.
“I’m frustrated we’re not already in there. We have to keep going. If we’re not right on our game we’ll get punished.
“If we can hang in and give ourselves a chance I always enjoy the second half of the season if I’m honest, I don’t know why.”
It’s hard to argue with Neil Warnock’s view on Middlesbrough’s promotion credentials.
While grinding out results could be enough to see them push for a top six finish at the end of the season, they certainly haven’t showed enough so far to suggest that automatic promotion could be on the cards.
That said it’s worth remembering that with mid-table being tipped as the likely position for the Teessiders, even a top half finish would be seen as an excellent season of progress under the experienced boss.