The new Championship season has started this weekend, with one of the favourites to secure promotion, Middlesbrough, suffering a 1-0 defeat away to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
After a campaign to forget in 2016-17, the Boro fans have renewed optimism following a summer of spending and the appointment of Garry Monk as the club’s new manager.
However, the first game did not go to plan for the Riverside Stadium side, with a solitary Leo Bonatini goal giving Wolves all three points at Molineux.
One of the tasks at hand for Monk will be balancing his forward line, with the Middlesbrough boss possessing an array of options in the final third.
The new head coach opted for a three-pronged attack of summer signings against Wolves, with Britt Assombalonga leading the line and partnered by Martin Braithwaite and Ashley Fletcher.
However, the trio struggled to link-up or have an impact at Molineux, with Monk needing to go back to the drawing board this week.
Middlesbrough did look a lot more dangerous in the final half an hour, with Patrick Bamford coming off the bench to replace Fletcher.
The former Chelsea striker has seen his career stagnate in recent seasons, with his last purple patch in front of goal during a loan stint at Boro back in 2014-15.
Bamford has since struggled to make an impact at Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Burnley, with a summer return to the north east made in an attempt to get back on track.
The Middlesbrough fans have fond memories of the 23-year-old attacker netting 17 Championship goals for them a couple of seasons ago and will hope the centre forward can rediscover this form in 2017-18.
While most of the Boro supporters were remaining positive despite the defeat at Wolves, the majority were full of praise for Bamford.
The fans have taken to Twitter to express their thoughts on the game and Monk’s team selection, with a consensus that Bamford should get the nod to start from now on.
Middlesbrough have their first home game of the new season against Sheffield United at the Riverside Stadium next Saturday and the supporters have told their manager the selection change they want for the clash with the Blades.
The best tweets are below:
Awful first half, a relegation hangover. Much better when Bamford came on, Monk won't make the mistake of starting Fletcher again! #UTB
— Iain Beddow (@iainbeddow) August 5, 2017
— Tyler Wilson (@TylerG_Wilson) August 5, 2017
No adama now that is a shock and I was expecting Bamford to start not fletcher but still a strong team utb come on
— wayne burnett (@wanaldinho) August 5, 2017
You should have started Paddy! We never looked like scoring until you come on. Confident this is gonna be your season!! UTB
— Chris (@nipperoakes) August 5, 2017
— Phil Swain (@philswain90) August 5, 2017
— Lisa (@LisaRop) August 5, 2017
Bamford should have started, Traore should have been an option.
We have 3 holding midfielders all doing the same job, 45 games left.#UTB
— UberBoro (@UberBoro) August 5, 2017
— Alex Bloomfield (@SuperSquand) August 5, 2017
Changed game for us today. Much more threatening when you came on. Must start next week. @GarryMonk
— Paul Rogers (@paulrrogers) August 5, 2017
You were the best player on the pitch when you come in pad. You should start next week.
— Robbo (@Kent_Boro_MFC) August 5, 2017
Poor and disjointed first half. Howson and De Roon poor. Clayton mom. Much better when bamford came on. Onwards and upwards #boro
— Peter Singh (@Smarmalat) August 5, 2017