Middlesbrough will be in the mix for promotion from the Championship next term, according to EFL pundit Andy Hinchcliffe.
The Teessiders have enjoyed a season of consolidation under Neil Warnock this term after being dragged into a relegation battle at the bottom of the table this term.
This season has been a marked improvement with the Teessiders even being considered as outsiders for a spot in the play-offs – a position that is still possible for the club.
But while promotion seems unlikely this term Hinchliffe believes that Warnock will be looking at challenging at the top with the added element of supporters being back at the Riverside Stadium to support their team.
Speaking on the Sky Sports EFL Podcast, Hinchcliffe said: “Absolutely, that’s what he’ll be looking at.
“The juices flow for Neil Warnock when there are crowds in the stadium and what he’s done at Middlesbrough without any fans in the stadium shows how he knows the game inside out.
“Getting players who had been pretty much dismissed at Middlesbrough and getting them to play well for him.
“Get fans back in the ground and I think that Middlesbrough fans will come back in their droves – I know their fan numbers maybe dropped off a bit with their style of football and the way things were going – but he’s shown that he’s put the foundation in there for a good season next season and that’s why Steve Gibson was really keen for him to stay on.
“Next season the Championship is going to be wide open but with fans in there and Neil Warnock In charge Middlesbrough will be in with a shout.
“Middlesbrough need him and the Championship needs him. It’s great that these old guys are showing these young pups how to do it.”
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Next term is going to be an exciting season for Middlesbrough.
After laying a foundation at the Riverside Stadium this term Neil Warnock will be really hoping to put his stamp on the squad this summer as he targets promotion.
Of course competition will be fierce but with supporters back there’s every chance that Warnock will be the man to guide the club to promotion.