Exclusive: Middlesbrough winger Marvin Johnson on his contract situation, return from Sheffield United and Jonathan Woodgate
Marvin Johnson says he isn’t thinking about his impending contract situation as he attempts to win back his starting place at Middlesbrough.
The 29-year-old is one of seven Boro players who will see their current deals expire in the summer, along with Jonny Howson, Daniel Ayala, George Friend, Ryan Shotton, Adam Clayton and Rudy Gestede.
Yet, despite his red card against Hull last month, Johnson is just happy to be playing regularly again, following a difficult loan spell at Sheffield United last season.
“I went out on loan last year, knuckled down and then over the off-season took some time to regroup,” Johnson told the Mail. “I wanted to make sure I came back ready and sharp to show the new gaffer what I can do.
“I just had to do it for myself mainly at the start and now I’m really enjoying myself and really happy to be here.”
Johnson also credits new Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate for bringing him back into the fold on Teesside.
“He’s been brilliant from day one,” adds Johnson. “The lads knew exactly what he wanted and he reiterated exactly how he wants us to play and how he wants us to be.”
Since signing for the Teessiders from Oxford in 2017, Johnson had previously struggled to nail down a regular starting place at Boro – so did the winger think he would leave in the summer?
“I don’t want to look at anything negatively,” replied Johnson. “When I came back there was a new gaffer and I just kept my head down, if he didn’t want me here he’d have told me.
“I kept my head down and did what was asked of me.”
And what about the winger’s contract situation?
“There’s no focus on that,” said Johnson. “I’m here and now and I’m playing games.
“I’m going to give the best that I can and that’s at the back of my mind, I’ll worry about that when it comes to it or the end of the season.
“I don’t want to put my mind elsewhere, I’m here right now and am giving my all for the team.”