Middlesbrough's August review: From Lewis Wing's Luton strike to an action-packed draw at Bristol City
The new Championship season has sprung into life after a hectic August schedule saw Middlesbrough play seven times in all competitions.
This weekend’s international break provides the perfect chance to look back at the first month of the campaign and pick out the most memorable moments so far this season.
Player of the month [Paddy McNair] – The Northern Ireland international has found a new lease of life after moving back into his natural centre midfield role.
McNair, 24, netted his first goal for the Teessiders in the 1-1 draw against Millwall at the Riverside and has regularly helped drive the team forward with his lung-busting runs from Boro's engine room.
Best goal [Lewis Wing vs Luton] – There were a few other contenders (McNair vs Millwall, Britt Assombalonga vs Bristol City), yet Wing’s stunning strike at Kenilworth Road was always going to take some beating.
With the scores locked a 2-2, the midfielder was teed up by Jonny Howson, following a neat passing move, and curled the ball into the top corner of the Hatters’ net. The goal sent Boro’s bench into a state of pandemonium.
Best performance [vs Bristol City] – While the 3-3 draw at Luton stood out as the most entertaining spectacle, Boro’s performance at Ashton Gate was more convincing.
There were still defensive lapses in an end-to-end encounter, yet Jonathan Woodgate’s side posed an attacking threat throughout and dominated possession for large spells in the 2-2 draw.
Best young player [Ashley Fletcher] – It could easily be argued the 23-year-old forward has been Boro’s best player full stop.
Fletcher has started every league game on the left flank and made a big difference after coming off the bench against Crewe in the Carabao Cup.
The striker’s link-up play and movement has caused problems for opposition defences and he was unlucky to see two goals disallowed in the 1-0 defeat to Brentford.
Most disappointing moment [Carabao Cup exit to Crewe] – Woodgate described it as a ‘terrible performance’ and no one could disagree with him.
Boro did manage to come from two goals down against League Two opponents Crewe before losing on penalties.
It was a night where many players simply didn’t deliver.