Middlesbrough captain Jonny Howson sends 'unbeaten' warning to Leeds United ahead of Championship clash

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Leeds United go to the Riverside Stadium on Monday with so much still on the line.

Jonny Howson insists his Middlesbrough side still have plenty to play for ahead of their game against Leeds United despite a play-off place looking all but impossible.

Boro did Leeds a huge favour in containing Ipswich Town to a 0-0 draw on Saturday, keeping the table-topping Tractor Boys within touching distance after Daniel Farke’s side lost 1-0 at home to Blackburn Rovers. A good performance though it was, however, results elsewhere leave them needing to gain eight points on sixth-placed Norwich City, with only three games left to do so.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While not mathematically impossible, leapfrogging all of Norwich, Coventry City and Hull City is highly improbable but Boro are now nine unbeaten and have the chance to end their campaign on a high. Leeds undoubtedly go to the Riverside Stadium with more to play for but former midfielder Howson insists his side will not be on holiday.

“Ipswich’s situation was irrelevant to us,” Howson told The Northern Echo of his side’s draw at Portman Road. “We had our own agenda coming into the game and we wanted to win it. We knew it would be difficult against a side going ever so well and going for promotion.

“We did keep our unbeaten run going and we want to keep that going until the end of the season. It’s something we can be proud of. Leeds will be a big game and we want to come away with three points in that. They’re still the kind of games you want to play in. I’m sure it will be a great atmosphere.

“They’ve obviously got their own aims. From our point of view, we don’t just want to throw these final three games away. We want to end them in the best possible manner and keep this unbeaten run going. Hopefully we can then take that into next season as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Whether as an individual or as a team, you always want to turn up and perform because fans pay their money and come to see a performance and come to see us give effort. That won’t change from my part and I’m pretty sure the rest of the boys will follow suit as well.”

Leeds could have a significant gap to make up by the time they kick-off at Boro on Monday evening, with Leicester City and Ipswich both in action this weekend. But that they face play-off challengers West Brom and Hull City respectively will inject hope that a door can be opened for the Whites.

Southampton could even pull level with Leeds before that game at the Riverside, with a midweek game in hand at home to Preston preceding Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City. Russell Martin’s side looked set for a play-off place but a great week for them brought consecutive wins while none of the top three won from six games combined.

Following trips to Boro and then QPR next Friday, Leeds host Southampton at Elland Road in what could be a pivotal final-day clash.