Aitor Karanka’s men have been favourites for promotion since the start of the season, and despite being pushed hard by both Burnley and Brighton, a top two finish is edging ever closer.
The slender victory over Bolton takes them to 85 points with four games remaining, but importantly for the Teesside club they enter the final stages bang in form and seemingly destined to go up.
Not only have they now won six league games on the spin, but as pointed out by Opta, incredibly three of those victories have come via a last-gasp winner in stoppage time.
90+ - @Boro have scored a winning goal in the 90th minute or later in three of their last six Championship games. Character.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 16, 2016
After a run of three defeats in four matches in March, it appeared Boro’s season was imploding as Aitor Karanka refused to take charge of first-team duties leading up to the 2-0 defeat at Charlton.
But owner Steve Gibson sought to clarify the situation, and Karanka was swiftly installed as the club’s manager once more with the Spaniard insisting his heart is set on staying at the Riverside Stadium.
Perhaps it was the sort of shake-up needed, as Boro bounced back with a 1-0 win over fellow promotion rivals Hull City with David Nugent settling the encounter via a last-minute header.
That moment seemingly proved such a critical part in Boro’s season, as five victories later they now stand on the edge of promotion and there appears nothing which can prevent them from completing the job.