Middlesbrough ace has this message for squad ahead of key run of games in promotion battle

Jonny Howson has emerged as a key player under Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder and he admits confidence is high in the Boro camp.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 11:55 am
Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea tangles with Jonny Howson of Middlesbrough. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Play-off chasing Boro have a weekend off coming up due to the international break but they will resume their battle for promotion away to Peterborough United on April 2.

And Howson has been reflecting on the high standards he continues to set himself at Boro, seventh in the table, two points adrift of the top six but with two games in hand.

Howson, speaking to BBC Tees, has been reflecting on his form since Chris Wilder took charge.

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He said: "Since he's come in we've picked up more results and got that confidence. When you do that it rubs off on everyone.

"I try to apply myself right. Coming towards the back end of my career, I want to play for as long as possible so I need to do what these young lads do. I need to be able to match them in training, there's no easing off because you get a bit older. Let's be honest I have to compete with them.

"It's the same with Pelts, Sol, Neil Taylor, they all apply themselves right, and hopefully the young lads will see that, follow suit and that will benefit them and the club."

And Howson is hoping for a positive end to the Championship campaign.

He added: "My little girl said to me she was nervous [ahead of Chelsea game] because she'd love for me to go to Wembley again.

"We've still got a chance [of getting to Wembley in the play-offs]. There are still a fair few games to go.

"Cliche, they will all be big games. If we apply ourselves right and do the right things on and off the pitch, we'll give ourselves a great chance."

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough midfielder Paddy McNair has been ruled out of Northern Ireland’s friendly against Luxembourg on Friday.

McNair will not make the trip this week after suffering a foot injury in Middlesbrough’s FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.

The versatile 26-year-old joined up with Ian Baraclough’s squad in Belfast but will remain behind to continue treatment, with a chance he returns for next Tuesday’s home match against Hungary.

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