Former Middlesbrough defender Franck Queudrue has backed his former club to keep on progressing this season, telling the club's official website that Boro have nothing to fear and that they deserve to be in the Premier League.
Queudrue spent five successful years at the Riverside when it last played host to top flight football, playing a key role for during one of the most successful periods in the club's history, helping the Teessiders win the League Cup before going on to reach the UEFA Cup final against Sevilla in 2006, a game in which the Frenchman started.
And the Frenchman, who retired from the professional game back in 2013, has urged Boro not to fear the Premier League, a division he says they deserve to be in.
Boro in action over the weekend against Stoke
"It’s good that this club is moving forward,” Queudrue told the club's website.
“They want to re-establish themselves in the Premier League after so long, and the league is getting tougher and tougher.
“But Boro have nothing to fear for the season.
“They deserve to be here, and have to play like they want to stay here.”
Alvaro Negredo has joined Boro on loan
Boro got off to a solid start to the new season, earning a point against Mark Hughes' Stoke City helped in part by a debut goal from Alvaro Negredo.
Negredo, 30, returned to the Premier League on loan from Spanish outfit Valencia earlier this summer, becoming a statement signing for Middlesbrough as they seek to battle it out against ever richer opposition after promotion from the Championship last season.
Middlesbrough's Victor Valdes
Aitor Karanka's side have also snapped up World Cup winning goalkeeper Victor Valdes on a free transfer, after he was released by Manchester United.