Clayton tries to keep Middlesbrough grounded

Adam Clayton.
Adam Clayton.

Adam Clayton has helped limit Middlesbrough’s excitement ahead of their Championship play-off final showdown against Norwich City on Monday.

It was two months ago that Boro travelled to Bournemouth two points ahead of their opponents and knowing that a win would open up a five-point gap between themselves and the Cherries.

Enthusiasm around Rockliffe Park was a welcoming mood, of course, but it was met with a degree of cocksureness and Boro went on to lose 3-0 at the Goldsands to the eventual champions.

The infectious buzz among the Boro folklore has spread to the players, but Clayton does not want to see a repeat of that afternoon on the south coast at Wembley.

“I remember when we played Bournemouth it got a bit like that (excitable) and you seen the result,” Clayton said.

“We had a little meeting about that sort of thing and that relaxed everyone.

“You could see how we performed in two massive games (against Brentford) so hopefully we can take that approach into Monday.”

Boro have beaten Norwich twice this season, 4-0 at home and 1-0 at Carrow Road when Alex Neil was in charge.

Clayton said that he had “heard (Norwich forward) Cameron Jerome say ‘revenge’” was on their mind, but Boro “have one aim and that’s to be in the Premier League.”

He added: “It’s going to be really tough job so we have to go there with our own game plan and do what we have to do.”