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Can Middlesbrough really land a UEFA Cup place next season?

In the style of Family Fortunes, we asked 100 people whether Gareth Southgate would lead his team into Europe next season, the survey said *annoying rejection sound*.

Yes, it’s hard to imagine just 1% of readers expecting the north-east club to be facing anything other than a relegation scrap next term, just as they did last season. Although their Premier League safety was confirmed with games to spare, there must be a concern that the club are failing to attract players of the right calibre to the Riverside. Nevertheless, the Daily Mirror reports that their manager is optimistic.

The 37-year-old former Boro and England defender said: “As a manager you have to take your club into the Champions League.

“We’ve been in Europe in the past and that’s where we have to be aiming again.

We’re capable of doing that and then it’s up to us to push on.”

Middlesbrough finished in 13th place last season and, with the likes of Man City, Tottenham and Newcastle all prepared to spend big this summer, surely Europe is just a pipe dream for the smog monsters?

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