George Friend is hoping to see a full house at the Riverside week in, week out when the Premier League season commences on August 13.

Boro were handed the 2016/17 fixture list last week and a game against Stoke City on the opening day in front of what promises to be a packed out Riverside.

"I think it's great," said Friend when asked about the fixture list. "As people have said before there aren't going to be any easy games. 

"Whether it was the champions Leicester in the first game or people who nearly got relegated, you've got to play them all. 

"But I'm delighted we're at the Riverside - I love playing there and that's the main thing for me, personally."

"I hope it's a full house every week. Stoke may not have been everyone's first choice to come and watch but they're a very good team and have really picked up in the last few years. 

"I think it will be a cracking game and our first back in the Premier League after seven years. You would think people will have missed it and will want to be there to see us open the season, definitely."