Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Andy Hinchcliffe said on the Sky Sports Now show on Sky Sports News HQ on Friday morning (February 19, 10:43am) that Derby County and Middlesbrough are struggling at the moment due to huge expectations on them.
Derby and Middlesbrough are two of the biggest clubs in the Championship and have arguably the best squads in the division.
While Derby have not won any of their previous eight league games, Aitor Karanka’s side last picked up maximum points from a Championship match on January 12.
Hinchcliffe believes that the two clubs are struggling at the moment due to huge expectations on them.
“Middlesbrough and Derby were the two sides, even before a ball was kicked in the Championship, who were under most pressure,” said the former Manchester City and Everton defender on the Sky Sports Now show on Sky Sports News HQ on Friday morning (February 19, 10:43am).
“It’s tough for Middlesbrough and Derby because when teams play them, they are really the top dogs in the Championship,” added Hinchcliffe.
“So it’s difficult for them, the expectations of finishing in the top two. That’s why maybe they are finding it a bit tough.”
Middlesbrough are second in the Championship table at the moment with 58 points from 30 matches. Boro are just two points behind leaders Hull City and have a game in hand.
Meanwhile, Derby are currently sixth in the league table with 51 points from 31 games. At the start of the season, the Rams were probably aiming for a top-two finish in the Championship, but it seems that they will now have to settle for a playoff spot.