Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk hopes to “get the ball rolling” with a first Sky Bet Championship win of the season at home to Sheffield United tomorrow (5.30pm kick-off).
Boro are eager for a boost after the disappointment of last weekend’s season-opener at Wolves, when a misplaced pass by Daniel Ayala led to the hosts’ winner.
Sheffield United head to the Riverside on a high as League One champions, boosted by an opening-day league victory and a come-from-behind Carabao Cup triumph in midweek.
Monk said: “They had a good result in the first game so will be confident.
“But we’re focused on ourselves to deliver what we know we’re capable of.
“If we can do that then we know we can get the right result.
“The players are working very well.
“I’m very happy with them and it’s only a matter of time until that confidence comes.
“We’re trying to pick up the results that help pick up that confidence and the players will show their potential.
“Every game brings its own problems and poses its own challenges. They’ve come up and will want to prove a point, you can see that in the way they’re playing.
“The key is to focus on ourselves and that’s what we’re doing now.
“The players are working very hard and if we can get that performance then we can get the ball rolling.”
Meanwhile, Monk admits that Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker is a target,
He said of the 22-year-old, who helped England U21s to the European Championship semi-finals this summer: “He’s a target and one of many that we’ve had throughout the summer months.
“We’ll see where that will get to within the coming days.
“It’s been a big transition this year, it’s never easy for a club when you have to make a big transition of players coming and going which we’ve had to do.
“In terms of the way we’re going to play and approach this season it was needed. It’s been great with the club, they’ve done extremely well with comings and goings.”
Boro have sold midfielder Marten de Roon to Atalanta, a year after signing him from the Italian club. He made 36 appearances last term and featured in last week’s Championship opener at Wolves.