The season kicks-off with games against Watford and Bournemouth – the two sides who pipped Boro to promotion in 2015 are back in the Championship after suffering relegation last term.

“It’s a very tough start, but I’m looking forward to it,” said the defender. “It’ll be a good gauge of where we’re at playing against two teams who have just come down from the Premier League.

“It’s like I always say though, there’s no easy games in the Championship. Whether you’re playing Watford or Wycombe you know you will have a tough game. That’s how this league is.”

Boro’s third game of the season is a trip to Hall’s former club QPR, prompting a quick return for a player who left the club in June.

“I’m looking forward to going back,” he said. “It’ll be strange playing against them after being there for five years, but I’m looking forward to it.”

The former QPR man is able to fully focus on the preparations for the new campaign, having moved into a house the area last week.

“I’ve settled in really quickly,” he added. “The club and the boys have really helped, and moving in was ideal because I can focus on playing and look forward to the season starting.”