Having staved off relegation on the final day of last term , Boro head for Cardiff City on Saturday having tasted just one defeat in six Championship games so far this season.

Warnock’s charges were only denied victory against then league leaders Reading last Saturday by an offside flag, but followed that by beating new leaders Bristol City a few days later.

“If you’d have said to me that we’d have four points so far this week I'd have snapped your hands off,” said Warnock. “The lads have surprised a few peoiple and they are playing some good stuff. I’ve really enjoyed watching them. 

"I keep telling them they'll be ruining my reputation with the way we're playing!

“We could have won every game. Mistakes and decisions have cost us games…that one from last Saturday still haunts me, but there you go. It’s been a steady start. 

“They couldn’t give me any more than they are doing. They’re playing with smile on their faces. I said to them after that Bristol game that If they play how they did that night and lose they won’t get any complaints from me.”

There’s no question of the boss getting carried away by a positive start to the season, but Warnock says he felt the squad he inherited in June were capable of better than last term.

“I told them in Cornwall they didn’t know how good they could be, both as a team and individuals,” he said. 

“They have to play at the top level of their ability and then we can be in that top 10 pushing to the top six.  We’re not large in numbers, but the players have responded.

“Because they’re playing well confidence comes and they do other things. I’ve enjoyed seeing them develop as a team.”

The boss also thanked Teesside International Airport for their support during a week that features two of the longest trips of the season back to back.

“The airport is fantastic,” added the boss. “They are so supportive of us and it’s helped so much with preparation.

“We’ve travelled long distances and would have been relying on the motorways, but I’m delighted we’ve been able to use the airport for these games.”