Ex-Norwich City midfielder Jonny Howson feels Middlesbrough are the best side in the Championship
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Jonny Howson believes he has joined the best team in the Championship, after switching from Norwich City to promotion rivals Middlesbrough.
The firm Canaries favourite completed a £6m move earlier this month after more than five years, two promotions and a player of the season award at Carrow Road.
Returning to his northern roots was arguably the driving force for the change, but Howson is happy with how things have panned out on the pitch too.
“There was the disappointment of last season (at Boro) but if you look around the side and see the number of quality players we have, then potentially this team can go far,” said Howson, who has already appeared for Boro during pre-season after becoming the first signing of the summer for new boss Garry Monk.
“I was aware of the work the manager did last season, and there were many reasons why I decided to join. The strength of the squad was a big one though – I believe it’s potentially the best team in the division, and we’re certainly capable of going straight back up.
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“That, along with the work the manager has done, were the main reasons why I was interested. I’m obviously aware of the size of Middlesbrough too, having been brought up not too far away from here.”
Boro’s other signings have caught the eye too with Cyrus Christie joining from Derby on the same day, a £9m signing from Toulouse in the shape of forward Martin Braithwaite, plus the record £15m arrival of Britt Assombalonga from Nottingham Forest.
Despite being such a popular figure during his substantial time at City, Howson’s exit was acrimonious – as revealed by sporting director Stuart Webber on the midfielder’s departure.
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Howson played the full 90 minutes in Boro’s 2-2 draw at Mansfield and the 29-year-old is hoping he has joined the real deal.
“It’s great when you see people like that following you in,” added Howson. “The backing this club receives is fantastic, and it means you can go out and sign people like that.
“That can only add to the competition for places, that’s what you get when you can make quality signings. I think everyone associated with the club will have been excited by the last few days.
“But it’s okay for us to stand here now and say, ‘We’ve got these players’. The bottom line is that we have to go out and perform week in, week out to get the club back into the Premier League where it should belong.”