Maddison held an exclusive interview with Gibson following Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Southampton at the Riverside, in which the chairman detailed his plans for Boro's return to the Championship.

Boro will compete in the second tier next season after just a year in the top flight and Gibson told Maddison that he wants the Teessiders to 'smash' the league on the way back to promotion.

"That statement is a big statement to make," said Maddison. "Smashing the Championship is a big thing to say but I think he [Gibson] believes that and it will be the aim. 

"This season hasn't gone well and the chairman wanted to do well in the Premier League and he said that mistakes had been made. 

"To smash the league is what you want to hear as a Boro fan. It's what you want to hear from the chairman of your football club. 

"Being the chairman and seeing the season that's just happened, he'll want the club to bounce back. 

"The funds are going to be there and that statement says it all to me."

The core of Boro's squad is made up of players who not only know the Championship inside out, but also have won promotion together last year.

And Maddison is confident that with a few positive additions, Boro can come back stronger to consolidate a place in the Premier League in the near future.

"I think you look at the squad and the majority have been in the Championship," he said. 

"Recruitment is vital. It's so important the right players come in. you've got to have leaders and fighters but also those game-changers. 

"If you can add them to our side it would be excellent. I think the players understand that league and know how tough it is. I think it's going to be a really tough division. 

"The teams that don't go up through the play-offs will want to come back, it's going to be really tough and I actually think it'll be the most difficult yet. 

"But the one thing in our favour is we have a good chairman and a squad that know the league."

The BBC Tees man and former Boro player is calling for the club to learn from this season in the Premier League and use that in next year's push for a sharp return.

"The chairman is going to have a go and we knew it was going to be tough this season," he said. "The key is to learn from it. 

"Teams like Burnley who have gone back up and consolidated their place in the Premier League. We have to go and have a good season, hopefully come up and keep our place there.

"The chairman didn't have to come out and say the things he did. He did that himself and answered the questions about what's gone wrong and how we can improve. 

"He spoke about the management side and he will back this football club."