Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Storm the Palace and We Will Set a New League Best; Boro Can Hit the Heights with Another Win This Weekend. Jonathon Taylor Explains How

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Storm the Palace and We Will Set a New League Best; Boro Can Hit the Heights with Another Win This Weekend. Jonathon Taylor Explains How

Article excerpt

BORO can set another milestone under Aitor Karanka if they can beat Crystal Palace at the Riverside on Saturday.

A win over Alan Pardew's side will mean Boro have the chance of becoming the best top flight starters of any newly-promoted team since 2001/02.

That would depend on Hull City not continuing their fine start to the season by making it nine points from four games with victory at Burnley.

The form guide looks promising for Boro - Palace have won only two of their last 24 Premier League matches, and are yet to register a league victory this season so far.

In contrast, Boro have adapted to life in the top flight like a duck to water, winning once (Sunderland) and drawing twice (Stoke and West Brom) in their opening three fixtures.

A victory on Saturday would mean Boro will have racked up eight points from their first four matches - a feat that has not been bettered since DJ Otzi's Hey Baby was top of the charts 15 years ago.

In fact, a Boro win could make them the third most successful Premier League newbie EVER. Not bad at all!

In 2001/02, Sam Allardyce's Bolton won their first three matches of the season - including against Boro when Michael Ricketts notched the only goal, which left Steve McClaren's men propping up the table after two straight defeats.

Further back, only Nottingham Forest can boast a better record after their opening four games - with Frank Clark's side winning three in a historic season that saw them finish third in the Premier League table, with Stan Collymore ending the campaign with 22 league goals.

So Boro would be in good company, if they were to win this weekend.

Mind you, they are doing pretty well already - sixth in the table and flirting with the Europa League after three matches. Thursday nights, Channel 5? OK, it's a bit early for that!

But since the Premier League's inception, only eight newly-promoted teams have a better tally after three games than Boro's class of 2016.

The most recent was West Ham in 2012/13 who notched two victories in their first three matches. They went on to finish 10th in their first season back in the big league. …

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