The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

BORO owner Steve Gib­son vowed to “smash” the Cham­pi­onship this sea­son and get pro­mo­tion back to the Premier League as cham­pi­ons. No chance on this ev­i­dence.

His team bright­ened up in the sec­ond half, but weren’t any­where near lively enough to jus­tify the £40m or so spent on new play­ers this sum­mer. With­out Daniel Ay­ala’s dread­ful give-away goal they prob­a­bly would have held on for a goal­less draw, but that’s not ex­actly smash­ing it.

Both Boro and Wolves had a load of new play­ers to bed in and nei­ther team re­ally gelled.

Wolves are full of in­tended ro­mance with Por­tuguese play­ers by the bucket load and a Brazil­lian just for good mea­sure, but this was pretty mun­dane.

Whether ei­ther team will be ca­pa­ble of slog­ging through a long win­ter has yet to be proven, but Mid­dles­brough, with the ex­pe­ri­ence of a suc­cess­ful sea­son be­fore last be­hind them, are the bet­ter equipped. It might not be pretty though.

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