It’s been six seasons since Middlesbrough found themselves in the top flight of English football so a draw against Manchester United in the last 16 of the League Cup must have sent a buzz through the dressing room.
The North East side lost out on a place in the play-off final last season after finishing fourth and have started the current campaign well, sitting in the same position as they finished last year, five points off leaders Brighton.
And tonight, they stepped out at Old Trafford with the chance to show how much they have improved as they faced a rotated Manchester United side looking to advance to the quarter finals of a competition they haven’t won since 2010.
Midweek games can often create a special atmosphere and tonight was no different as over 10,000 Boro fans lit up Old Trafford to show solidarity with steel workers.
Every fan in the away end held up their mobile phone torches in the 10th minute of the game in a protest against the recent job losses in the steel industry on Teesside.
As many as 1,700 workers are expected to lose their jobs following the closure of the SSI steel plant in Redcar, with another 1,000 redundancies likely at the Tata Steel plant in Lincolnshire.
Middlesbrough Fans at Old Trafford Pay Tribute to Steelworkers Tonight.. pic.twitter.com/VcrnUxclf1
— talkingbaws (@talkingbaws) October 28, 2015