MIDDLESBROUGH'S players got to work this morning after touching down in Portugal for their pre-season training camp.

Boro are based at the same resort as last year and will once again take on Vitoria Guimaraes this coming Saturday to round off the week on the Algarve.

Middlesbrough travelled on Sunday, with all of the club's senior players, apart from Matthew Hoppe who is expected to leave this summer, having made the trip. Marcus Forss is not yet back in training as he continues his rehab on the hamstring injury he suffered at the back end of last season, but the Finnish forward joined the rest of his teammates on the flight yesterday.

He will continue his own programme in Portugal, as will Tommy Smith, who is further ahead with his rehab than Forss but not quite back in full training yet having missed just about the entirety of last season with an Achilles' injury.

Goalkeeper Jamie Jones is part of the squad in Portugal with the 35-year-old expected to sign a new deal this summer.

Luke Ayling, Delano Burgzorg and Aidan Morris, Boro's three new signings, have all made the trip. Boro will continue to closely manage Morris' workload with the USA international midfielder having played a large bulk of an MLS season before making the move to the Riverside.


Law McCabe and Sonny Finch are the only two academy players to initially travel with the squad, though it's not out of the question that more could follow later in the week.

McCabe last week put pen to paper on a new four-year contract at Boro, a reward for his impressive breakthrough last term. The midfielder was named Scholar of the Season and made his first start in the final day win over Watford.

Finch, meanwhile, instantly impressed Michael Carrick when the head coach arrived at the club in 2022. He made four appearances in all competitions that season before his progress was halted last term by an ankle injury.

But he returned to action at the back end of the campaign, impressed for the Under-21s and was a late substitute in the Championship home win over Swansea in April.

Carrick said at the time: “I’m delighted for Finchy. He’s had a few issues with his ankle on and off for a period of time so we took the decision to try and get it sorted and be patient with him.

“We gave him a period of time to get back training, get fit, spend some time just getting himself back to his level and being really patient with him.

“He’s playing and scoring goals now, that’s kind of what he does. He always finds a way to find the back of the net. It's great to see."

The behind closed doors weekend game against Vitoria will be Boro's first of the summer, before their opening domestic friendly against Bolton at Bishop Auckland a week on Saturday.