Middlesbrough attacker Marvin Johnson says he is not focusing on the prospect of signing a new contract with the club, and is more concerned with helping his side move away from the Championship relegation zone.
Johnson is one of several first-team players set to be out of contract at the Riverside Stadium come the end of the season, although it seems that is not something the 29-year-old is thinking about just now.
Speaking to the Hartlepool Mail about a potential new deal with the club, Johnson said: “There’s no focus on that. I’m here and now and I’m playing games.
“I’m going to give the best that I can and that’s at the back of my mind, I’ll worry about that when it comes to it or the end of the season.
“I don’t want to put my mind elsewhere, I’m here right now and am giving my all for the team.”
Last season saw Johnson leave Middlesbrough on loan, with the winger joining Sheffield United, where he would make just 12 appearances in all competitions as the Blades won promotion to the Premier League.
This season however, Johnson had been a regular feature in the league for ‘Boro, featuring 17 times in total already in the league – only missing out when suspended following his red card in a 2-2 draw with Hull last month.
That return to contention is something that Johnson was keen to praise new Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate for, with the winger continuing: “He’s been brilliant from day one.
“The lads knew exactly what he wanted and he reiterated exactly how he wants us to play and how he wants us to be.”
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Middlesbrough are currently 20th in the Championship table – four points clear of the relegation zone – following their 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night, and are next in action when they travel to Swansea on Saturday afternoon.
It does seem as though there is still much to be decided with regards to Johnson’s future at Middlesbrough.
Given he seems to be enjoying his run of regular football at the Riverside Stadium once more, you feel he himself is in a position where he could be keen to stay at the club beyond the end of this season.
Indeed, the fact that Woodgate continues to use him, also suggests that the ‘Boro boss sees him as a valuable asset, which could also help the winger’s case when it comes to deciding who does and does not get offered new deals by the club between now and the end of the season.
However, with Middlesbrough’s current standing in the Championship meaning their long term prospects are not entirely certain right now, it may be some time until it is clear whether they are actually able to offer deals to the likes of Johnson and co. meaning his focus on footballing matters, may be a good thing for all concerned.