Ex-Middlesbrough star Gary Pallister believes the club has a better chance of promotion now Tony Pulis is in charge.
Pulis replaced Garry Monk in the Boro hotseat and Pallister, who had two spells at the club, believes he has made an instant impact.
Boro are eighth in the Championship, two places and two points outside the play-off places.
The league campaign takes a break this weekend, with Boro hosting Brighton at the Riverside in the FA Cup fourth round tomorrow (KO 3pm).
Pallister has been impressed with Pulis’ approach and has backed the former Stoke and West Brom boss to guide Boro into the play-offs.
"They have got a better chance of going up now Tony is in," said former Boro and Manchester United defender Pallister.
"They were struggling before he came in.
"Boro had just come out of the Premier League and Steve Gibson spent a lot of money. He brought a lot of new players in to give us the push to go straight back up and it really wasn’t happening.
"I think it was touch and go whether we would have made the play-offs.
"Pulis has come in and I think we’ve seen an impact straight away from him.
"He’s obviously experienced, he’s been through the mill and he knows what it takes to create teams.
"I think you can see a difference in the side already.
"They are playing with a lot more confidence.
"I was at the Riverside a few weeks back when they lost Tony’s first game 1-0. But you could still see a direction and they deserved to win the game. They shouldn’t have lost. They then went to QPR and got a great victory and I am really confident we will get in the play-offs.
"As for an automatic place, we’ve got to put a real run together to get in contention for that, but I like what I see."
One player to have made a big impression during Pulis’s spell is Adama Traore – and Pallister is a big fan.
He added: "He’s getting the best out of Adama Traore.
"The kid has got unbelievable talent.
"His game management needs work but as a threat, this guy could walk into a Premier League team.
"He would not look out of place because he can destroy players. It’s just getting his game management right," he told AskFans.co.uk