Middlesbrough are battling to finish in the top two this season.
Boro have been one of the busiest clubs in the Championships in terms of transfers this season, spending over £20 million on players such as Jordan Rhodes, David Nugent and Stewart Downing.
But for all that money spent, automatic promotion is certainly not assured for Aitor Karanka’s men as they battle Burnley, Hull City and Brighton and Hove Albion for a place in the top two.
Clayton, speaking to reporters, believes Boro have the experience to get the job done and claims the squad available to Karanka is the best he has ever been involved with throughout his career.
“This group of players is really good. It’s the best group I’ve ever been involved with. We’ve been to places like Norwich last year and dug in to get massive results. The memory of days like that will help,” he said.
“We know we’ve got that kind of resolve in the dressing room, and we’ve got an added bit of quality now with people like Gaston and Stewy and people like that. We know the grit’s there – you could see that against Hull – and that’s going to be important in the run in.”
Many expected Boro to run away with the Championship this season, especially after the money they spent and the position they found themselves in at the turn of the New Year.
However, a five-game winless run saw the likes of Burnley and Hull catch up and the mounting pressure prompted boss Karanka to question his future at the club - a situation which affected the players.
But last weekend’s late win over Hull was huge for confidence, and with nine games remaining Boro have automatic promotion in their own hands and the quality to see them over the line.