Tony Mowbray served Middlesbrough as both a player and manager, but believes he is returning to a team with bigger aspirations than when he was in charge.

Boro, now under the management of Tony Pulis, are third in the Championship and eyeing a return to the Premier League two years after relegation.

Mowbray, a central defender in his playing days, is something of a legend on his native Teesside, playing 425 times, before returning as manager in 2010 before being sacked in 2013.

The 55-year-old was in charge during a transitional period at the club, and ahead of his first return as manager, he said: “Going back to the Riverside, Middlesbrough is my team.

“I grew up and lived near Ayresome Park all my life, it’s no longer there now, it’s houses.

“When they moved to the Riverside I had already left for Glasgow Celtic but I have been there as a manager for three years, had some good times, had some bad times.

“I think the aspirations of the club now are greater than the three years I had at the football club.

“The money they have spent, the players they have got, makes them a very serious contender for promotion.

“It will be a tough test, a tough ask, they obviously have a very experienced football manager there.

“It’s one we will try and express ourselves in and try and get a result.”