Hignett scored 48 goals in a six-year spell at Boro and explained why he feels they will emerge victorious at the weekend:
"They have spent a lot of money, and have been the most consistent side all season. It's a massive game for them, and if someone would have said to them at the start of the season, you will have a home game to win promotion to the Premier League, they probably would have taken it. This is essentially a play-off final, and to have home advantage is a big thing. I think Middlesbrough will get a result, I really do."
The North East outfit have been on a fine run of form of late that has seen them go nine games unbeaten, although three draws in their last three outings have hampered their promotion charge. Hignett feels, however, that the Boro side will be able to handle the atmosphere on Saturday:
"They've got good players and they will be able to handle the atmosphere, and the occasion, but it will be difficult because Brighton have been top notch all season."
Middlesbrough have been absent from the Premier League since their relegation in 2009, but since the arrival of Aitor Karanka, they once again look like a side who could genuinely compete in England's top tier. Following on from last years play-off final defeat, the Boro squad have shown fantastic strength of character to bounce back from what must have been such a demoralising experience.
One more positive result will ensure they get their just rewards.