Ex-Sunderland midfielder excited for Boro’s 12-game play-off challenge

Boro midfielder Grant Leadbitter. Picture by Frank Reid
Boro midfielder Grant Leadbitter. Picture by Frank Reid
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Former Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter says his Middlesbrough team-mates are excited for the big challenge in the final 12 matches of the season.

Boro sit in eighth place in the Championship, three points adrift of Sheffield United in the final play-off place, heading into tomorrow night’s crucial clash with old rivals Leeds United.

The Riverside showdown (7.45pm) is a huge one for both sides, with Leeds, as inconsistent as Boro this season, only three points worse off than the Teessiders.

Leadbitter, who scored in last week’s dramatic 3-3 draw at Sunderland, wants the supporters to relish the battle to come.

Asked about a message for the Boro fans heading into the run-in, he told mfc.co.uk: “Be excited going to the last 12 games.

“Let’s be excited about the challenge ahead because the players are.

“It’s been stop-start, but we’re still within touching distance of where we want to be and we’re certainly looking forward to it.

“We want the fans to get excited and we want them to be excited towards the last couple of months of the season because it’s all to play for.”

Leeds, now under Paul Heckingbottom, beat Boro 2-1 at home in November.