Another tough challenge expected
Middlesbrough midfielder Richie Smallwood considers next season will be even harder in terms of winning promotion for his club.
Boro's continuation in the Championship for another year was finally confirmed following their 2-1 weekend defeat at Bolton Wanderers, despite them promising much greater reward during the early months of the campaign.
"The teams that come down and come up are always strong," Smallwood told the Northern Echo. "There are a lot of teams in the mix and the top and bottom and there's a lot of big clubs in there. Every year we've been in this division it`s going to be harder and harder to get back up.
"I think we've got to keep working hard," he continued. "We've obviously got the ability because we wouldn't have been near the top at the halfway point. Hopefully next season we don't come off the pace."