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‘Boro fans will be praying that their side’s outstanding display on Teesside will herald and end to the 8 years of continual decline that followed the departure of Shteve McClaren.

But Middlesbrough may only have been as good as the Blues were terrible. An incoherent formation and the recent loss of their star player colluded to make Birmingham’s new side look unlikely and unable to save themselves from the relegation that they so narrowly avoided last season.

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Fred is an undergraduate at Sheffield University whose mind is filled with medicine, reggae music, Nancy Mitford and Middlesbrough FC.