Middlesbrough v Bolton Wanderers: Riverside fortress to help the Boro bounce back

HOME form emphatically proved the bedrock of Middlesbrough's last successful promotion crusade in 2015-16.

Aiming to turn things round: Middlesbrough's Jonny Howson, Aden Flint, George Saville and Sam McQueen before the Sky Bet Championship defeat at Carrow Road.

During that momentous season, the Teessiders took more home points than anyone in the second tier and won 16 matches and lost just twice, conceding a division-best tally of just eight goals along the way.

During the previous campaign when Boro reached the Championship play-off final in 2014-15, they also had the joint-best home points tally and best goals against record on home soil – and the signs of 2018 point towards a rewinding of the clock.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Boro have won all three home league matches this season without conceding a goal and back-to-back Riverside appointments against Bolton and Swansea are timely, given that Tony Pulis’s side surrendered their unbeaten second-tier record in disappointing fashion at Norwich on Saturday.

All told, Boro have won their last six home league matches in the regular season and just the promoted duo of Wolves and Fulham have left the Riverside with three points so far this calendar year.

Highlighting the need for an instant response after last weekend’s events at Carrow Road, central defender Aden Flint said: “It was disappointing, but that is football. We were going to lose eventually.

“We go again and it is a quick tunaround and we are hoping to put that result right.

“We have Bolton and then a massive game with Swansea on Saturday. But it is Bolton first and we can hopefully kick-start a little run again.”

Last six games: Middlesbrough DWWWDL; Bolton LWWLDL.

Referee: D Coote (Notts).

Last time: Middlesbrough 2 Bolton 0, December 26, 2017; Championship.