Paddy McNair opens up on Sunderland relegation and his Middlesbrough ambitions
Paddy McNair is targeting promotion back to the Premier League with Middlesbrough after a 'hard' 12-months at Sunderland.
McNair, who has signed a four-year deal at the Riverside, was part of the Sunderland side to suffer relegation to League One last season.
The Northern Ireland international, who ended last season strongly with four goals in five games, is looking to put a difficult spell behind him and help lead his new team back to the top flight.
McNair made the switch after a total of 28 appearances for Sunderland over two years, his appearances limited after suffering a cruciate knee injury in November 2016. The fee believed to be around Â£5million.
Reflecting on his Sunderland spell, McNair told Boro's website: "No player wants to be involved in a team that's been relegated, it was a hard 12 months.
“But at the same time it will stand me in good stead. At the same time it was a bad experience but I think it was a learning curve and I can use that at Middlesbrough."
McNair, also wanted by Brighton & Hove Albion and Stoke City, is looking to hit the ground running under Tony Pulis.
"That’s the thing with transfers – it always takes a couple of weeks and you have to be patient sometimes," said McNair.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be here.
“From the first time I spoke to the manager here and knew that Middlesbrough were interested, I was dying to come.”
He added: "I can’t wait to get going.
"There’s no easy game in the Championship, it's Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday and you have to be physically and mentally ready for it.
“Hopefully we can achieve the goal at the end of the season, and that’s to get back to the Premier League.
"I'm a midfielder, more of a box-to-box and I'll try my best every week and hopefully that will get us three points on a Saturday more often than not."
McNair joined Boro on the first day of pre-season training yesterday ahead of the squad jetting out to Austria today for a training camp.
“The earlier you get into a new club the better, I think. Once you feel more comfortable you’re going to play better,” added McNair.
“I’m glad I’ve come here at the start of pre-season and I’m looking forward to getting to know the lads.
"I know Fabio from my time at Manchester United and Ashley Fletcher as well, who was at Sunderland last year with me, and I also played with him at Man United so I know a couple of the lads but I'm sure it won't take me long to bed in and get to know them."