Middlesbrough finding form ahead of New Year’s Day trip to Preston North End
Middlesbrough will arrive at Deepdale to face Preston North End on the back of three straight victories.
The best of those came on Sunday and a real coupon buster it was too, Boro beating West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at The Hawthorns.
Daniel Ayala and Ashley Fletcher scored the goals to end Albion’s unbeaten home record.
It was a result which caught the eye of Lilywhites manager Alex Neil.
“Beating West Brom will mean they come here with real belief,” Neil said.
“Sunday summed up this division, Middlesbrough winning at West Brom, Millwall beat Brentford and we lost to Reading.”
Boro had beaten Stoke and Huddersfield at home before winning at the Hawthorns.
The pick-up in form was much needed after they had won just two of the previous 15 league games.
Running the rule over Boro, Neil said: “Fletcher scored again on Sunday, while James Tavernier is always a threat down the side.
“The young lad Djed Spence has come in and is really quick.
“They’ve a strong midfield, Adam Clayton, Lewis Wing and George Saville played there the other day.
At the back they’ve got good size and presence with Dael Fry and Ayala.
“I think it will be a competitive game.”