Middlesbrough v Brighton: Boro will NOT need play-offs says Craig Hignett

Craig Hignett (right) with Hartlepool United first-team coach, and ex-Boro defender, Curtis F;eming

Craig Hignett (right) with Hartlepool United first-team coach, and ex-Boro defender, Curtis F;eming

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Former favourite Craig Hignett believes Middlesbrough should already be promoted – but desperately hopes they get the job done tomorrow against Brighton.

Second-placed Boro need to beat or draw with the Seagulls at the Riverside (kick-off 12.30pm).

If someone said at the start of the season you have a home game against the team in third place to go up then you would take it

CRAIG HIGNETT

“I really hope they make it,” said the Hartlepool United boss. “I think they should be up by now to be honest, the money Steve Gibson has pumped in.

“They have a great squad, but it’s a tough league the Championship – it’s relentless.

“But the table doesn’t lie at the end of the season and Boro have been consistently one of the best in the league, so I hope for their sake they go up.

“It’s a brilliant way to finish – if someone said at the start of the season you have a home game against the team in third place to go up then you would take it.

“They have home advantage, they are not at Wembley. And I fancy them to win the game, I think they will get a result. They deserve it and hopefully it’s a reward for Steve, all the lads and everyone connected with the club.

“Boro have been out of the Premier League for too long now and the club will change massively given the money you get next season.

“I don’t want to see them in the play-offs, but I think they’ll get a result tomorrow.”