Middlesbrough are unbeaten in the Championship but boss Tony Mowbray says it is too early to consider promotion. Boro are joint-top with Southampton and Derby County having taken 19 points from nine games, and test their 100% league record at Reading on Saturday.
"After nine games it's great to give ourselves a platform, but no more than that," Mowbray told BBC Tees.
"It's just an accumulation of points that all add up to where you finish."
Mowbray added: "So many things can happen in the winter, pitches get heavy, players get injured, players pull muscles, your squad looks a little more depleted.
"Let's see how we come through that. I talked early season about depth of squad and I told the players that we would have a few disappointed players early on, but the squad will get tested through the winter.
"If you're in there at Christmas you've given yourself a platform to push on into the second half of the season."