Middlesbrough assistant: Boro have 'religious' fans

Craig Hignett has hailed the Championship club's fans for providing wonderful support.

3,500 Boro fans travelled to Huddersfield for the 2-1 victory last Saturday, before a further 500 made the ten-hour round trip to Cardiff on Tuesday - being rewarded with a 1-0 victory.

Current assistant manager Craig Hignett, who played for Boro between 1992 and 1998, was part of the early surge of support at the Riverside Stadium, and he holds the record for scoring the first goal at Boro’s current stadium when it opened in 1995.

And, despite playing away from home, Hignett told Gazette Live that the ‘religious’ support of the Boro faithful makes every game a marvel to witness.

The 44-year old said: “For some of our fans, following Boro is like a religion.

“Although we understand that finances are really difficult for many people at the moment, we always know we’re going to get great support wherever we go.

“But when we walked out at Huddersfield it was something else.

“We could see our fans filling the whole end of the stadium.

“It was the biggest away following in the entire country that day.”

However, the former striker is not surprised to see such large audiences travel the country, having been part of the original crowd swell on Teeside.

“It doesn’t shock me anymore because I’ve seen over the years how good the away support is,” he added.

“But people new to the club are amazed seeing so many people turn out on a cold, rainy Tuesday night miles away from home.

“Cardiff in midweek was a far longer trip but once again our fans made themselves heard throughout a really impressive performance to win our third away game in a row.

“It was great to reward those supporters who made the trip to Wales.”

Having opened the scoring inside the first five minutes at the Cardiff City Stadium, Boro held on to claim their third consecutive away win. And Hignett is confident that the fans are to thank for such a positive run of form.

The fans’ influence is massive. They can really lift you.

“One or two players might be thinking, 'Am I really up for it today?' It shouldn’t happen, but it does sometimes.

“But when they step out and see the fans and how loud they are, they don’t want to let them down. It becomes a pride thing then. When supporters show their backing, it really does give you a lift.”

Middlesbrough host Brentford on Saturday, looking to continue their impressive start to the season with a victory that will move them into the play-off places.

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