Middlesbrough boss outlines the Championship challenge facing his squad

Chris Wilder expects the race for promotion from the Championship to be even ‘tougher' next season.

Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 5:14 pm
Middlesbrough fans show their support. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images).
Middlesbrough fans show their support. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images).

Wilder wants his Boro side to be competitive and therefore knows the club needs to further strengthen this summer in the transfer window.

Wilder said: “If we want to be pushing towards the top of the division, which I’ve always said we should be, we know we need to add competition. I think it will be a tougher division next season.

"We talk a lot about the clubs coming down and the advantages they have and then there are a couple of strong teams who just missed out last year that will be hoping to be there or thereabouts again.

"There is always one or two teams that come from sort of left field to challenge as well. But we want to be really competitive. There are no guarantees, but we set our goals high for the season ahead.”

Boro are currently in Portugal on a pre-season tour and played Sheffield Wednesday behind-closed-doors earlier in the week.

“We’ve got a behind-closed-doors friendly with Sheffield Wednesday. We’ve got a senior group of players here of about 13 or 14 that we know we need to add too. But that game will give us an opportunity to work on one or two things with the senior players that will benefit them.

"But most importantly is going from 45 minutes to 60 minutes. We’ve designed the game so that it is four half an hours so players can get 60 minutes."

Meanwhile, Boro and Sunderland’s rivals in the Championship, Hull City, have suffered a major blow ahead of the new season.

That’s because the Tigers have lost star man Keane Lewis-Potter after he signed for Premier League club Brentford in a deal thought to be worth up to £20million.

Hull City have already lost ex-Sunderland captain George Honeyman this summer after the attacking midfielder opted to join Millwall.

And now, Hull City have lost Lewis-Potter after the 21-year-old signed a six-year contract with the option for a further year in West London after the two clubs finally settled on an agreement while the Tigers were out in Turkey.