The worrying Championship relegation trends that will alarm Middlesbrough fans
Middlesbrough’s pre-season play-off ambitions have faded quickly as they now find themselves third-bottom in the Championship and in a relegation scrap.
So, should Boro fans be worried about their current position?
We’ve looked back at the stats over the past five years and bring you a guide of where every side - that found themselves in the relegation zone after 16 games - finished come May.
You have to go back to 2008-09 for the last time that all three teams in the relegation zone at this stage of the season survived the drop - an alarming stat for the sides currently occupying those places.
Out of the teams in the bottom three after 16 games last season, only Ipswich Town were eventually relegated with Reading surviving by seven points.
More good news for Boro fans comes in the form of Hull City whose form around Christmas time made them an outside shot for the play-offs in March - however, Nigel Adkins’ side fell short and eventually finished in 13th position.
It is a similar story if we look at the 2017-18 season where Sunderland were the only side in the bottom three at this stage that were relegated.
Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers were the teams to survive in this case, finishing 19th and 21st respectively.
However, if the current Championship season was to replicate the trends of 2015-16 or 2016-17, then Boro could be in a spot of bother.
Five of the six sides that found themselves in the relegation zone after 16 games were relegated with only a resurgent Rotherham United under Neil Warnock, in 2016, the side to escape the drop.
Charlton Athletic and Bolton Wanderers were the unfortunate ones in trouble that season to drop out of the Championship.
Rotherham’s great escape couldn’t be repeated however and in 2017 they joined Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers in relegation to League One.
And yet, there is still faint hope for Middlesbrough that their season can still be a success.
Birmingham, in 2014-15 were exactly where Boro currently find themselves, in 22nd place, but by May, The Blues had risen to secure a 10th place finish.