David Nugent has urged his Middlesbrough teammates to go one better than last season in order to prove that chairman Steve Gibson was right to splash the cash.
The Smoggies missed out on a place in the Premier League in May after slipping to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Norwich City in the playoff final.
Gibson has since parted with £15.6m in the transfer market to make Boro the division's second-highest spenders behind Derby County.
Nugent, a £4m recruit from Leicester City, admits that it is now down to the players to justify the lavish spending at the Riverside during the summer transfer window.
"I think the managers of other teams are saying [we have spent big money] to try and put the pressure on us," he is quoted as saying by Gazette Live.
"But we've got a great chairman behind us who has backed the club through thick and thin. He wants us to be in the Premier League, and so do the players.
"He's gambled by spending the money, and now we need to produce the goods on the pitch to prove that he was right to spend it."
Middlesbrough find themselves in sixth place in the Championship table after losing just one of their opening five games.