Middlesbrough are hoping to go one better than last season and win promotion to the Premier League this year, and they continued their good season with victory over Rotherham on Tuesday evening.
Boro secured a 1-0 victory over the bottom-placed Championship side, moving them onto nine wins for the season, and a return of 30 points. They sit comfortably in fourth place, just one point off the top three teams - who are all joint on 31 points.
Derby are also on 30 points in fifth place, and then a five point gap separates the Rams with Birmingham in the final play-off place, currently occupied by Birmingham.
Boro’s victory came courtesy of a goal from Stewart Downing, who returned to Teesside over the summer transfer window from West Ham. Despite excelling with the Hammers last season, it was clear that Slaven Bilic did not see him as part of his first-team this year, and so Downing opted to leave West Ham.
He has played well this season, and his goal against Rotherham was his third of the season in 15 games. He has also aided Middlesbrough’s cause with two assists, and fans took to Twitter following the game to praise his work for Boro.
Well done Boro ! Smashing goal from Downing - 1st half total control 2nd half at times jittery. 3pts clean sheet - Bring on Hull. UTB— Bernie Slaven (@bernieslaven) November 3, 2015
Thought Nsue, Clayton and Downing were all excellent but most important thing was the 3 points when you look at the league table #Boro— Daniel Radics (@Dan_Radics) November 3, 2015
Excellent goal by Stewart Downing for Boro. Fantastic powerful run & finish.— Billy & Georgie (@PaceAndStrength) November 3, 2015