With each match of the new season came the optimistic hope that this would be the game to kick-start their campaign.
But with only one win in their opening four matches, and an early exit from the League Cup at the hands of Championship newcomers Millwall, there is a very real concern around Teesside that this much-needed ‘kick-start’ might never come, and that Boro could even struggle to keep their heads above water.
It certainly seems unlikely that their next match, away at QPR this Saturday, will be the one to buck the trend of mediocre performances and poor results.
The west London outfit are enjoying something of a renaissance under manager Neil Warnock, particularly since the departure of chairman Flavio Briatore earlier this year.
They are unbeaten in the league this season, with three wins and a hard-fought draw with Derby County under their belt, and have every reason to be confident going into Saturday’s match that they can be the next team to see off ‘big spending Middlesbrough’.
Boro fans could well be wondering when (or even if) their new squad will gel, and if so, will it be in time to rescue their season?
The players are certainly making the right noises, reassuring supporters that they felt every bit as dejected and hurt as the supporters in the aftermath of their 2-0 defeat at Barnsley.
But for fans, sometimes it is no comfort to hear the players agreeing with you, meekly admitting they should have done better.
What you want to be told is that they have identified the problem, are working to resolve it and will try their damnedest to ensure their mistakes are rectified in the next match.
But when nobody is quite sure why the combined forces of an experienced manager, training facilities to impress FIFA’s World Cup delegation, free-scoring Scots and the desire to play attractive, passing football is failing to produce results, solving the problem becomes that much more difficult.
Having said all that, football law (also known as sod’s law) suggests that Boro most likely will win at QPR this weekend when they are least expected to, whilst continuing to make hard work of so-called ‘easier’ fixtures against teams like Barnsley.
Let’s hope they do win, anyway; it might just be the kick-start they need.
The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.