Middlesbrough winger discusses how he found making the jump from League One to the Championship
Speaking to the club’s matchday programme, Middlesbrough winger Marvin Johnson revealed how he found making the jump up to the Championship from League One.
Having played for Oxford United in the third tier, Marvin Johnson joined Middlesbrough in 2017 for a fee believed to be in the region of £2.5 million.
During his first season under then-manager Garry Monk, he played a total of 18 times, scoring once. His only goal of the campaign came on his debut against Bolton Wanderers in a 3-0 win.
When asked about the change and differences between playing in League One and playing in the Championship, Johnson spoke openly about making the step up, saying his success was more to do with his mentality than anything else.
“It’s always nerve-wracking coming in like that,” he said.
“I’d played in front of the Oxford the season before, but you really want to impress now you’re a Boro player.
“It was a step-up to the Championship, of course, but sometimes I think that step-up is more mental. If you listen to people telling you it’s a massive step and stop focusing on yourself and believing in your ability then you will struggle.
“But I tried not to think about it too much, keep playing how I had been and just enjoy playing for Middlesbrough.”
In his second season at the Riverside, Johnson was seen as surplus to requirements and joined Sheffield United on loan. Despite being used sporadically under Chris Wilder he did help his new side to promotion, finishing second in the Championship table behind eventual champions Leeds United.
Since returning from his loan spell he has been used regularly at Middlesbrough. Boro boss Neil Warnock recently said Johnson has been ‘unlucky’ when left out as he often gives a very solid performance.
So far this campaign he has scored four time and registered five assists and is one of the club’s top goal contributors. His usual left-back or left wing-back slot has been taken up by Marc Bola who is in fine form. He similarly made the jump from League One Blackpool up to the Championship and took time to settle.
Further forwards the likes of Yannick Bolasie, Duncan Watmore, Neeskens Kebano and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing have been preferred in his position of late, but he is believed to be in Warnock’s plans for the future despite his contract coming to an end in June.