The bulk of the squad have returned to pre-season training and will spend just over a week working under the watchful eye of the new manager and his staff before heading off to sunnier climes for a training camp in the Algarve.

The Portugal camp will include two games, against Oxford United, from League One, who travelled to Boro in the FA Cup last season, and League Two side Chesterfield.

Highlights from Boro's last match against Oxford United, earlier this year

The Oxford game will take place on Wednesday July 12 at the Estádio da Nora, home to FC Ferreiras, in Albufera (6.30pm local) before Monk’s men take on Chesterfield on Saturday July 15 at the Complexo Desportivo de Vila Real de Santo Antonio, in Santo Antonio (6.30pm local).

Portugal represents a change of location for the club, having been regular visitors to Spain in recent seasons. The last three pre-season trips have all been to Marbella and the club also visited the resort in mid-season before going to Benidorm for a week’s warm-weather training in February.

Monk’s squad will spend eight days in Portugal before returning to the UK for away trips to Mansfield Town and Rochdale, followed by a final pre-season match at the Riverside Stadium. Our opponents and the date for that game will be confirmed here shortly.