Middlesbrough holding midfielder Adam Clayton has targeted the play-offs for this season after their recent form and valiant FA Cup exit to Tottenham.
Jonathan Woodgate’s side gve a very strong account for themselves as they forced a replay against Champions League runners-up Tottenham Hotspur, but a win was a bridge too far as the Premier League side showed great quality in the replay on Tuesday.
In the league, however, things have been going great for the Teessiders recently. Their start to the season was woeful in Woodgate’s first season in management but having found his feet with a settled system in recent months, Middlesbrough have stormed out of the relegation zone with an unbeaten run stretching to six games, and five wins in the last eight games since the defeat to Leeds in late November.
Now, on 34 points, Boro find themselves somehow just eight points behind sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday and looking to rise after their recent run.
Following the narrow defeat to Spurs, Adam Clayton spoke to the Northern Echo about the side’s recent form and where they see their season taking them at the minute. He had this to say: “I think you have to be looking at the play-offs.
“I think in this league, and I’ve been in it long enough, there’s always a team that comes from behind.
“We’re not going to get carried away and say we’re definitely going to get into the play-offs, but if we keep the form we’ve got and keep playing how we’ve been playing, then we’ll have a chance.
“We didn’t go to West Brom and Preston, who had the best home records, and nick it, we went there and played really well. We were unlucky not to win again on Saturday, and the way we’ve put together this run of results tells me that we have got a chance.
“We’ve just got to stay on top of our game, keep playing the way we have been, and not get complacent. You can fly up this league, you can see from the last month what four or five games can do. If we put another run like that together, we’ll be in and around it.”
Clayton returned to the side recently to become a regular fixture under Woodgate, having made six starts out of the last eight games, which has coincided hugely with their turnaround in fortunes in the Championship.
Can you remember Boro’s biggest winning margin from recent seasons?
Clayton is trying to tread carefully with how confident he wants to express his team are feeling at the minute but he has every right to be bold in his statements after their recent run of form.
The play-offs are by no means out of the picture for Boro with only eight points separating them, but there is a lot of work to be done if they’re to bridge that gap in the coming months.
Up next for Woodgate’s side is a trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham and this will give Boro a good chance to match themselves up against a side in the position they want to be in, come May.