Boyd is fired up for Boro promotion push
MIDDLESBROUGH striker Kris Boyd believes his burgeoning strike partnership with his former Celtic adversary Scott McDonald can fire Boro back into the Premier League this season. Bookmakers have installed Gordon Strachan's side as firm favourites to lift the Championship trophy next May and the acquisition last month of the Scottish Premier League's all-time leading scorer has fuelled predictions that Boro will take the league by storm. The favourites tag holds no fears for Boyd who was part of a Rangers side that kicked-off every new season bearing a burden of expectation that they would end the campaign with silverware. McDonald brings a similar winning mentality from his three years with Celtic and Boyd has already noted that there are signs the pair have begun to develop an understanding on the pitch with the potential to strike terror into Championship defences. Their weakness in the opposition penalty box was one of the key reasons behind Boro's failure to mount a convincing promotion bid last term. Scoring 32 goals fewer than eventual champions Newcastle highlighted the gap that existed between table-toppers and also-rans. Boyd is convinced that the new-look Boro will have no such problems this time around. It's exciting for me anyway, and for Middlesbrough as a whole, he said. We know how to win games and get over the finish line, maybe last season that was a problem here. We'd be winning with ten minutes to go and end up drawing, or drawing and end up losing. With Rangers and Celtic you need to win games week in week out. You'd win ten games in a row and draw one and all of a sudden it's a crisis. Favourites to win the league It was the same up the road (at Rangers). We had the same going into each season. It's a pressure, but if you just concentrate on your game and work hard and focus you won't get carried away. There's a lot of work to be done between now and the end of the season for us to win the league and for me to be top goalscorer at the club. There's a lot of boys here with a taste for winning medals and I'm sure they want to get back in the Premier League. It won't be easy, but hopefully we can mount a good challenge. It's one I look forward to. Boyd was Rangers' top goalscorer in every season he was with the club while his Scottish golden boot rival McDonald managed just over a goal every other match during his 98-game Celtic career. Boyd said: In the last couple of games Scott and me have looked a lot better and sharper and hopefully we can get the ball rolling on Saturday and get a result. If things go to plan then 12 months from now he expects to be gearing up for a Premier League campaign. And if Boro's successes in recent memory were built on big bucks, then Boyd reckons the reality of their current situation means that hard graft is now the order of the day. He said: When you see the facilities it's a Premier League club. Perhaps they've overspent and chased a dream that didn't work, but now they realise they need to get themselves back there by working hard and getting a good start. Looking at Scotland as a whole, a lot of people like to work their way through life up there, they're hardworking people and football's no different. You come from an environment where you want to work hard to get your goals in life and that's what a lot of people bring to this club and I'm sure if you ask anyone in the dressing room what they want is to be in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Mido is attracting interest from Turkish Super League outfits Bursapor and Panathinaikos. The Egyptian's proposed transfer to Ajax last week fell through after he demanded a pay-from the Teessiders and unless a new move can be agreed he looks set to see out the final year of his contract at the Riverside. Boro have been linked with a move for Sunderland centrehalf Matt Kilgallon but the defender set to see a specialist to clear up a troublesome back injury, so a deal would not appear to be imminent. Boro will kick off their Championship campaign with Hartlepool company Deepdale Solution's name on their shirts. The Deepdale name will be featured on the club kit during August as part of Boro's innovative plan to change shirt sponsors on a monthly basis.
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