New Birmingham City manager Garry Monk has admitted that an immediate clash with Middlesbrough is "not ideal".
In December, Monk was removed from his role at the Riverside Stadium after just six-and-a-half months in charge, but the former Boro boss has now been handed a long-term contract at St Andrew's.
Monk is tasked with trying to keep Birmingham in the Championship, and he has acknowledged that he would have preferred to play another team in his first match, and on his 39th birthday
At a press conference, Monk told reporters: "Football has a funny way of doing those type of things.
"It's not ideal but I enjoyed working with the players today, they're a very good group who are determined to get themselves out of this situation."
Birmingham head into the match having suffered five successive defeats.