Manager Keith Hill has spoken highly of Middlesbrough ahead of Saturday’s pre-season friendly at Spotland.
Aitor Karanka brings his side to Rochdale fresh from a training camp in Spain and Hill is expecting a difficult encounter against the North East side.
He told Dale Player: “When Tony Mowbray was Manager he had technicians and players who were comfortable in possession and that has continued with the new Manager.
“They’re a threat and have very good players. They’ve got players that can penetrate on the counter attack, if you look at Albert Adomah and Mustapha Carayol, for example.
“They’re a very balanced side, they’ve got pace and they’ve got passers. Arguably we’re looking for similarities to what Middlesbrough have got.
“I like the way that Middlesbrough play and I think eventually they will be successful and will get re-promoted to the Premier League. It might be this year because they’re a very, very good team.”