As part of skysports.com's build-up to the 2010/11 season, Graeme Bailey met Nicky Bailey.
Last Updated: 06/08/10 1:32pm
Middlesbrough have emerged as favourites for the Championship and it's in no small way because of their excellent looking transfer dealings in the summer.
Kris Boyd, Kevin Thomson and Stephen McManus have all arrived from the Old Firm, but Boro have not just been looking at Scotland.
Nicky Bailey arrived in a £1.5million deal from Charlton in one of the moves that has prompted the most excitement on Teesside.
And the London-born midfielder cannot wait for the opening game with Ipswich on Saturday.
"Everyone is ready for the season now," Bailey told skysports.com.
"Pre-season is over now. All the new lads have come in and everything has gone really well for us."
Bailey is quick to acknowledge that his new club have just one thing in mind - promotion.
"The top two is where we want to be, need to be - no doubt about it, that is something we are all aware of," he explained.
"Obviously winning the league is what we want to do, but promotion is what it is all about, no matter how we do it promotion is the one thing we are looking at."
Local expectation is tangibly higher for Gordon Strachan's men than it was 12 months ago under Gareth Southgate's regime, but the new Boro star admits that he is yet to feel the full level of the expectations.
"I haven't had a chance to really see many fans, we have been away on pre-season and been training - but I went down to the ground earlier in the week for the first time when the club had their open day and just going down there, you were getting asked plenty of questions and even from that you could gauge the excitement of the fans," he said.
Away from Middlesbrough, Bailey finds it hard to even predict who could be their rivals for promotion - pointing very much to the case of Blackpool, who this time 12 months ago were one of the favourites for relegation, yet they now find themselves preparing for life in the Premier League.
"I wouldn't know who could be up there, I have played in this division before and I know how hard it is.
"Every team will be competitive and everyone will be capable, and from day one I think they will be all coming to Boro looking for the big win, but with that you can envisage most of them coming and putting five in midfield and just leaving it to us to break them down.
"You just have to look at Cardiff last year, they have been up there the last few years and then they miss out to Blackpool - who came from nowhere really - but that just shows what can happen in this league."
On his own ambitions, Bailey admits that just getting into the starting XI will be a tough enough task.
"It is a strange one just before the start of the season, because we don't really know who is in or not at this point," he said.
"Everyone is desperate to play and be in the starting XI and it is almost an awkward situation, not with each other, but just because we are all wanting to be in there.
"Plus no matter how much pre-season you have, however many friendlies, nobody is ever fully ready for the first league match. We have played more games than most but even with that you can never be fully prepared for the opening game. But we all cannot wait for the Ipswich game now."