Former Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter sets his sights on fourth promotion to Premier League
Grant Leadbitter is determined to win a fourth promotion to the Premier League.
The Middlesbrough midfielder helped Boro to the top flight via the play-offs in 2016, following on from two promotions during his time with home-town club Sunderland.
Now, despite the Teessiders sitting in eighth place in the Sky Bet Championship, Boro are just two points off the play-off spots – and Leadbitter fancies another crack at the Premier.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to get out of this league three times and I want to do it again,” said the 32-year-old Fencehouses-born player.
“There’s 18 games left and in my experience that’s a long way to go.”
Boro have had an up and down, inconsistent campaign so far, with Tony Pulis brought in to replace manager Garry Monk late last month.
Reflecting on last weekend’s important 3-0 victory away to QPR, Leadbitter told mfc.co.uk: “It was a good win, and I think a much-needed win.
“We’re going to need a fair few more of them to get where we want to.
“We’ve got no reason not to keep our feet on the ground.
“We’re eighth in the league and that’s not good enough.
“It’s been stop-start all season, let’s be honest with ourselves.
“But it’s been stop-start and we’re still in with a shout.
“We have to pick points off the teams above us and make sure when they slip up we don’t.”
Boro take a break from Championship action to entertain Premier League relegation battlers Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round at the Riverside on Saturday.
Pulis’s men are back in league action on Tuesday, with a home clash against Sheffield Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Boro’s Under-23s squandered the opportunity to regain pole position in Premier League 2’s Second Division after losing 2-0 to visitors Fulham at Rockliffe yesterday.
Jon D’Agur Thorsteinsson hit a fine opener from the edge of the box, before Jayden Harrison got lucky with the clinching second goal, a cross that somehow found its way into Brad James’ net.
Aston Villa, Boro and Reading are all level on 27 points from 14 games at the top of a congested division, with Fulham just a point behind, having played a match more.
Blackburn Rovers are two points off top spot with two games in hand on the leading trio.
Boro next face a crucial trip to promotion rivals Aston Villa on Monday afternoon (1pm kick-off).