Mowbray fired up for 2012 challenge

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Tony Mowbray has turned Middlesbrough’s fortunes around during the past 12 months – and the boss admits he can’t wait for 2012, writes Craig Hope.

The first 20,000-plus crowd of the season will be at the Riverside Stadium this afternoon for the visit of Hull City.

If a league table were to be drawn up of the calendar year then Boro would sit top.

And that is saying something for the progress made given that a year ago they were level with third-bottom Crystal Palace with 21 points from 22 games.

Now Mowbray’s men have 41 points from the same number of games and are handily placed just outside the automatic promotion places.

And the Boro chief reflected: “We’d have taken it (the club’s current position) this time last year.

“It’s been a year of progress and trying to move forward, of bringing our philosophies to the club and changing things to work how we want them to.

“It’s gone all right for us and I don’t think it’s been an accident, I’d like to think the coaching staff and the people behind the scenes have worked extremely hard to put everything in place for the players to go out on the pitch on a Saturday to get the job done.

“Generally that’s what’s happened over the past year.”

After today’s visit of Hull, Boro welcome Peterborough on Saturday.

And Mowbray said: “We’ve won the majority of our games away from home.

“It would be nice to come out of the festive period with back-to-back victories.

“It’s an opportunity to find some consistency at the Riverside.”