Middlesbrough currently sit in 3rd place of the Championship table, with 12 games of the 2022/23 campaign left to play.
And for Middlesbrough, that’s 36 points left to play for as they look to secure a top-six spot. They have a five-point cushion inside the play-offs as things stand, but Sheffield United in 2nd reopened a seven-point lead over Boro after Michael Carrick’s side lost at West Brom last time out.
Up next for Boro is a home game v Reading this weekend, and ahead of that one, there’s been a number of Middlesbrough stories in headlines; one of which regarding top-scorer Chuba Akpom. Reports this week have claimed that Middlesbrough are keen to extend the striker’s current contract beyond 2024 – Akpom is the league’s leading scorer with 19 Championship goals to his name this season.
Elsewhere, it’s also been claimed that Middlesbrough stand very little chance of signing Manchester City loan man Zack Steffen – should they remain in the Championship going into the next season. TeessideLive reported that a permanent swoop for the American shot-stopper would be ‘almost impossible’ unless the secure promotion this season.
And lastly, Rotherham United’s Chiedozie Ogbene was linked with a move to Middlesbrough in February. He was also linked with Swansea City and after scoring in the 1-1 draw v Swansea in midweek, Ogbene admitted that previous transfer speculation probably got the better of him, saying:
Chieo Ogbene: “I’d like to say the transfer speculation didn’t affect me but I’m only human and I think it did.” #rufc
— Paul Davis (@paulm_davis) February 27, 2023
Ogbene remains out of contract in the summer.
Up net for Boro then is a home clash against an out of sorts Reading side this weekend – the Royals sit in 14th place of the Championship table but have won two of their last three in the league, so they’ll be another stern test for Carrick’s Boro.