The next three home games will determine Middlesbrough’s promotion hopes this season, midfielder Adam Clayton has told the Daily Star.
Second in the Championship with eight matches to play, Boro have a strong chance of returning to the English top flight for the first time since 2009.
Following a wobble in form in January, where the club went five league games without a win, the club were rocked in early March by speculation surrounding the future of manager Aitor Karanka, with The Guardian reporting that he was close to leaving the Championship club.
However, the Teeside outfit have returned to form with three wins in their last five games to move to within three points of league leaders Burnley.
Up next for Karanka’s men is a run of three games at the Riverside Stadium against Huddersfield Town, Preston North End and Reading, and 27-year-old midfielder Clayton believes a perfect run of results will bolster the club’s ambitions of a return to the Premier League.
“Our target has to be nine points,” he told the Daily Star. “Having the next three games at home is a big opportunity to rack up some points.
“We really fancy ourselves at home against anyone. We’ve beaten the best teams in the division at the Riverside already this season and have to keep that going. There’s a real chance for us to do something special this season.”
Middlesbrough are second in the Championship table at the moment with 73 points from 38 matches, just three points behind leaders Burnley with a game in hand.