Middlesbrough defender Robert Huth has shaken off the disappointment of relegation to the Championship and is ready to aid the club's promotion bid.
Huth, 24, is fit and ready for Friday's opener against Sheffield United and is keen to lead Boro back to the top flight at the first attempt.
"It's a hard league and it'll be harder because we're seen as favourites in most of the games," he told BBC Tees.
"It took a while to get over relegation, we're ready for Friday."
The Blades are as tough an introduction to life in the Championship as Gareth Southgate's side could have expected, having been edged by Burnley in last season's play-off final at Wembley.
And Huth is fully aware that the standard of football in England's second tier is strong and is under no illusions of the task that lies ahead over the next nine months, starting with Kevin Blackwell's side on Friday.
"It's important to get a good start but if we don't then it's not the end of it," he said.
"We've still got 45 games to go but ideally we'd like to get the win.
"They're all good teams, this isn't a 'Mickey Mouse' league, they're all quality footballers and it's going to be a tough game, it's not easy."
Huth has been a regular member of the German national team in recent months, featuring in close-season friendlies against China and the United Arab Emirates during the summer.
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