AFTER a summer turnover of 18 players on Teesside, Tony Mowbray has declared his Middlesbrough squad ready for the big kick-off.
The Boro boss has offloaded no fewer than 10 since the end of last season, eight arriving in the opposite direction.
Tomorrow sees the Riversiders get their campaign underway at Bury in the Capital One Cup First Round (kick off 3pm).
And Mowbray said: “We’re ready.
“We’re up for it, we’re fit and we’re focused.
“The team is ready for the weekend. Are we excited? Yes. Bring it on.”
And, of his squad overhaul, Mowbray added: “We are getting there but let’s see how it goes.
“There has been a lot of changes over the summer and we have brought some new players to the club who we think can make a difference.
“They offer some different options and give us an opportunity to maybe play a different way.
“Yes, some have come from League One or League Two but if they perform well then they can become part of the team.
“And we have some young lads too who may be more a part of it this season.
“It is all there for them if they can perform.”
Boro signed off from their summer schedule with a 3-2 defeat at third-tier Scunthorpe United on Wednesday night.
But Mowbray isn’t concerned about the outcome of such friendlies.
“It wasn’t about the result, it was always about who needed extra game time,” he said.
“In the first half we were really good, we retained and used the ball well and created the chances.
“We finished with a very young side, almost a development side and obviously we are disappointed to lose but I’m not sure it will have much bearing on how it pans out when the season starts.”
Meanwhile, Rhys Williams and Scott McDonald have been included in the latest Australia squad.
Socceroos coach Holger Osieck selected the pair in his 20-man squad for the friendly against Scotland at Easter Road, in Edinburgh, next Wednesday.