Daniel Ayala has eyes firmly fixed on Premier League

The Spaniard insists that he wants to be there with Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough star Daniel Ayala has told The Northern Echo that his ambition is very much to return to the Premier League, and he wants to make sure that is with the Teesside outfit.

Ayala already has top-flight experience having been with Liverpool and Norwich City, but he is yet to get there with Boro following their play-off heart break last season.

Middlesbrough are now favourites to be promoted from the Championship this term, and the 24-year-old defender firmly believes that he and his team-mates are ready to take their chance.

“To be honest you are where you deserve to be. At the minute I am in the Championship but hopefully next year I will be in the Premier League," Ayala told The Northern Echo.

“I think playing in the Premier League can be sometimes easier than playing in the Championship, so I feel I can do that.

“The Charlton game was a completely different game to Wednesday at Old Trafford, but we have unbelievable players this year so I know we can break teams down.

“This is the year we have to go up, it’s not just me, everyone believes we can do it this year and hopefully we can keep going and go up this year.”

Ayala joined Boro in 2013 from Norwich, initially on loan, and he has since become one of the club's most consistent performers at the heart of their defence.

Middlesbrough are fourth in the Championship table at the moment with 27 points from 14 matches, just three points behind leaders Brighton & Hove Albion.

Aitor Karanka’s side will take on Rotherham United at the Riverside Stadium in the league on Tuesday evening.

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