Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes it is only a matter of time before Tony Mowbray leads his former club Middlesbrough back into the Premier League.
Hasselbaink played for Boro between 2004 and 2006, scoring 23 goals in 58 league appearances.
During that time, Middlesbrough were an established Premier League club and even reached the final of the UEFA Cup in the Dutchman’s final year.
However, they were relegated in 2009 under the stewardship of Gareth Southgate and have now spent two years in the Championship without threatening the promotion places.
The appointment of Tony Mowbray as manager in October has brought about a reversal in the club’s fortunes, with Boro finishing last season with four consecutive wins.
According to Hasselbaink, Boro are now well-placed to make a serious assault on the Championship title and he has tipped the club to win promotion this time around.
Middlesbrough are bwin’s 12/1 joint-fifth favourites along with Nottingham Forest to clinch the 2011-12 Championship.
A successful £25 free bet on Boro to finish first, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £325.
“It’s sad because a club of Middlesbrough’s stature should be in the Premier League,” Hasselbaink told BBC Tees.
“But I definitely feel they are on the way up with Tony Mowbray. He’s got the experience and he’s done it before, so Boro are in good hands.”
The former Leeds United, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid player went on to say that Mowbray’s job would have been far easier had Boro been able to keep hold of some of the promising youngsters to have come through the club’s academy.
The likes of Stewart Downing, David Wheater, Adam Johnson and Lee Cattermole have all moved on to pastures new and the money brought in has already been spent.
But while Mowbray will have to make do with what he’s got, the signs are that he has enough at his disposal to succeed.
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