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Middlesbrough’s ‘Promotion goal’s in our hands’ says Howson

Johnny Howson

According to The Northern Echo Midfielder Johnny Howson has stated that if Middlesbrough wants promotion it is all in their hands now and they have to achieve it themselves rather than rely on other teams. With preseason aspirations of a top-two finish all but gone, the playoffs is their only hope but can a strong end to the season result in top flight football once again?

Relegation to the Championship last year was a big failure for Middlesbrough who were looking to establish themselves back in the top flight. Following the drop they turned to Garry Monk as their man to bring success back to a club devoid of attacking football. However, his tenure was cut short and he was replaced by Tony Pulis in December.

Under the Welshman, the North East side have profited massively as they are unbeaten in five games and currently occupy the final play-off place in the Championship; having ousted Bristol City over the weekend. However, they are currently 12 points away from the automatic places that they set out to get. But they are still in with a shout of gaining a vital promotion back to the Premier League.

Following a 3-1 home win against struggling Barnsley, Howson feels that the morale in the camp has improved dramatically and that the recent run has brought real belief back to the Riverside. They will not want the games to stop coming if they play like they did on Saturday.

He told The Northern Echo “We might have wanted to challenge for the top two spots earlier season, we know that, but that’s football. We can still achieve what we wanted earlier in the season, and that’s promotion, it’s still in our hands. Football is funny, when you have the right mind-set, confidence, and will to win then you can go a long way.”

He is certainly happy with how things are going and the form they are showing means they are real favourites to grab a place in the play offs. He will also be happy with his own form, Howson has been moved further up in midfield since Pulis took over and he is now able to supply Middlesbrough’s hitman Patrick Bamford who knows where the back of the net is.

He also stated, “When you have people like Adama and Patrick in the team, hitting form, Patrick’s goal sums his luck up, how it goes in off his knee. That can happen in football because when things are going for you those go in, when they don’t then it probably goes wide or hits the post. We have terrific lads here.”

Howson is right, when things are going well for you then you get the rub of the green and Bamford is certainly getting that as he has found the net eight times in his last five games. He is full of confidence and will be hoping he gets promotion once again with this side.

So confidence is high at the Riverside and Pulis has brought real life back to a team who want to bounce back at the first time of asking.