Paddy McNair is relishing the opportunity of helping Boro achieve promotion after a ‘hard 12 months’ at North-East rivals Sunderland.
The 23-year-old became Tony Pulis’s first signing of the summer on Tuesday, joining on a four-year-deal for a fee worth up to £7million.
McNair was speaking to Boro’s website about the move and says admits he’s looking forward to putting the relegation woes firmly behind him and achieve success at the Riverside.
“No player wants to be involved in a team that’s been relegated, it was a hard 12 months,” he said.
“But at the same time it will stand me in good stead. At the same time it was a bad experience but I think it was a learning curve and I can use that at Middlesbrough.”
The deal for McNair looked to have been dead in the water but after some finger pointing from Boro and Sunderland owner Stewart Donald, the move was back on track and quickly tied up.
“That’s the thing with transfers – it always takes a couple of weeks and you have to be patient sometimes,” said McNair.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be here. From the first time I spoke to the manager here and knew that Middlesbrough were interested, I was dying to come.”
He added: “I can’t wait to get going. There’s no easy game in the Championship, it’s Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday and you have to be physically and mentally ready for it.
“Hopefully we can achieve the goal at the end of the season, and that’s to get back to the Premier League.
“I’m a midfielder, more of a box-to-box and I’ll try my best every week and hopefully that will get us three points on a Saturday more often than not.”
The Northern Ireland international joined Boro on day one of pre-season training at Rockliffe Park and will fly out with the squad to Austria today.
“The earlier you get into a new club the better, I think. Once you feel more comfortable you’re going to play better,” added McNair.
“I’m glad I’ve come here at the start of pre-season and I’m looking forward to getting to know the lads.
“I know Fabio from my time at Manchester United and Ashley Fletcher as well, who was at Sunderland last year with me, and I also played with him at Man United so I know a couple of the lads but I’m sure it won’t take me long to bed in and get to know them.”