Middlesbrough FC news: Jonny Howson sets sights on Leeds United and Norwich City as Boro youngsters prepare for Manchester City clash
Middlesbrough midfielder Jonny Howson hasn't given up on automatic promotion this season - despite a nine point gap to the top two.
Boro sit fifth in the Championship with 12 games to go and fell further behind their promotion rivals following Saturday's goalless draw at Wigan.
Norwich sit top of the table with 69 points, ahead of Leeds on 67, Sheffield United 65 and West Brom on 60.
Boro, who have accumulated 58 points this campaign, do have a game in hand on all four sides above them but still face an uphill task to secure a top two spot.
Yet Howson, who played for both Leeds and Norwich, still believes his former sides are catchable, but insists it's important for Boro to focus on themselves.
“The main thing is to concentrate on ourselves,” Howson told Gazette Live.“We can’t worry about what the other teams are doing. I think if we concentrate too much on that it will take our focus away from the job we’ve got in hand.
Boro now have back-to-back home games against Brentford and Preston and Howson hopes his side can make the Riverside advantage count.
“It’s always been the case that we concentrate on ourselves and the Brentford game on Saturday," added Howson.
“Whenever you want to have a successful season you need to have a good home record. It’s something that’s possibly let us down at stages this season but we are still in touching distance.
“We haven’t given up hopes of automatic promotion. OK it will be tough for us, but anything can happen in this league.”
READ MORE: Why winning promotion with Middlesbrough would be one of John Obi Mikel's 'greatest achievements'Meanwhile ticket details have been conformed for the Premier League Cup final between Boro's under-18 side and Manchester City Under-18s later this month.
The game will take place at the Riverside on Thursday March 14 (7pm kick-off).
Tickets will be available to purchase from Monday March 11 at 9.30am, while Boro season card holders will be able to attend the game for free.
You can find more details buy visiting the club's website.