Middlesbrough made it four wins on the spin after despatching Bolton at the Riverside in a game where the scoreline failed to reflect the hosts’ dominance.
Tony Mowbray’s advocacy of free-flowing football is paying dividends after a sluggish start to the campaign and the Boro now find themselves level on points with second-place Leicester City with their promotion price in to 11/4.
Confidence is sky-high at the Riverside and, with goals coming from all areas of the pitch, it’s difficult to see who is going to halt this fantastic run of theirs.
Lowly Charlton, who have only recorded one home win this season, are next in Boro’s firing line – a side who have allowed the north-easterners three wins from three in recent head-to-head records – and the 2004 League Cup winners will be eyeing a fifth successive victory at The Valley.
The win over Bolton was, without doubt, the most encouraging of the recent run as, not only do the Trotters possess one of the strongest squads in the division, but the character shown to come back from a goal down at the break to win the game is one of the key ingredients required for success at any level.
Another is consistency and, in a league where strugglers regularly upset the pace setters, this is aspect is no more prevalent.
Boro are exemplifying this quality in recent weeks and, if they can sustain this current form over the coming weeks, they could soon find themselves with a bit of breathing space in the automatic spots.
The worrying aspect from a supporters’ perspective will be the great form the Riverside club showed in the first half of the last campaign, only to fall away at the turn of the year. They topped the table at the end of 2011, but then won just six times altogether as the season entered the business end.
This experience will have taught them valuable lessons, however, and Boro’s potency in the final-third is a big difference from last time around. For this reason, they’re standing as fourth-favourites for promotion to the Premier League is well worth taking advantage of.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date