Middlesbrough re-enter the Sky Bet Championship with one aim – to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Garry Monk, appointed Boro boss back in June, is the man tasked with achieving that goal.
Monk takes over at the Riverside having guided Leeds United to seventh spot in the Championship last season.
Before taking the reins at the Whites, Monk began his managerial career at Swansea City. Following his appointment in 2014, the former Swans defender successfully kept the Welsh side in the top flight, achieving safety with a game in hand.
Elland Road was the next stop, where the 38-year-old's Leeds team finished five points outside the play-off places.
Recent Championship history
Boro’s last campaign in England’s second tier saw them promoted to the Premier League with an impressive tally of 89 points, as they pipped Brighton & Hove Albion to second spot by virtue of goal difference.
Prior to the 2015/16 season, Middlesbrough competed in the Championship from 2009, where they finished 11th, 12th, 7th, 16th, 12th and 4th respectively.
2016/17 – in brief
Played (all competitions): 43
League position: 19th – 28 points
Most appearances: Ben Gibson - 41 (all competitions)
Top goalscorer: Alvaro Negredo - 10 (all competitions)
Addressing the issue
Looking at the 2016/17 statistics, it's easy to see where the Teessiders struggled.
Just 27 goals were scored in 38 league matches last term, and that's why a club record fee has been spent on the prolific Britt Assombalonga.
The Democratic Republic of Congo international joins from Nottingham Forest, where he scored 30 goals in 47 league starts, and that follows up the recent acquisition of Danish forward Martin Braithwaite.
Defenders Connor Roberts and Cyrus Christie, along with midfield man Jonny Howson, have also bolstered Monk's squad this summer.
The club – in brief
Also known as: The Boro
Stadium: Riverside Stadium (34,742)
Need to know: The Riverside Stadium was the first stadium designed and constructed to comply with the Taylor Report