Middlesbrough FC news: Jonny Howson's blunt assessment as youth team claim Dunston win

Middlesbrough’s pre-season campaign is in full swing following Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Gateshead – but what else has been happening in and around the Riverside? We wrap up some of the latest stories concerning the Teessiders:

Friday, 12th July 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 12th July 2019, 6:00 pm
Jonny Howson played right-back in Middlesbrough's pre-season friendly at Gateshead on Wednesday.

Jonny Howson’s blunt assessment – The Boro midfielder (turned right-back) spoke to the local press following Boro’s pre-season win over Gateshead on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old, who played in every Championship game last term, is looking forward to a new chapter under head coach Jonathan Woodgate but made no excuses for last season’s disappointment.

“The bottom line is we failed last season,” said Howson. “I think with the squad we had then the minimum expectation was to get into the play-offs.

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“You can say it was a close run thing and talk about fine margins if you like but we should have been up there in the top six.”

“The target was the play-offs and we didn’t make it, so personally I feel like we failed.”

Boro under-23s claim pre-season win – New Middlesbrough Under-23s boss Graeme Lee got off to a winning start as Boro’s youngsters kicked-off their pre-season campaign with a 2-0 win at Dunston.

First-half goals from Tyrone O’Neill and Ben Liddle in the first 20 minutes proved the difference against the BetVictor North West League side.

Boro’s under-23s face another local trip on Saturday July 20 when they’ll face Bishop Auckland.

Hignett previews Boro friendly – Boro will play their third pre-season friendly of the summer on Sunday, with the Teessiders set to face National League side Hartlepool at the Super 6 Stadium.

Pools have won all three of their pre-season friendlies so far this summer and manager, former Boro midfielder Craig Hignett, is looking forward to the test.

“It’s the perfect time for us to step things up.” Hignett told the Hartlepool website “We’ve had three really good workouts and played really well in all of them and now we want to test ourselves and see where are.

“Middlesbrough are a strong side so we know that Sunday’s game will be a big challenge for us but it’s also one that will be a really good gauge too.”