Jonny Howson had 'hundreds of reasons' to carry on as Middlesbrough deal proved straightforward

Jonny Howson of Middlesbrough
Jonny Howson of Middlesbrough -Credit:Dylan Hepworth/MB Media/Getty Images

Jonny Howson says working out the details of his new Middlesbrough contract proved straightforward once it became apparent that both parties wanted to do a deal.

The Boro skipper had made clear a couple of months ago that he was not ready to call time on his career yet, despite turning 36 later this month. He expressed his desire to stay at Boro for an eighth season and was eventually granted his wish when signing a new 12-month deal ahead of last weekend's final game of the season against Watford.

Boro had initially delayed negotiations on such matters with all players while they remained in the play-off race. But once those hopes came to an end and they could plan with more clarity on which division they would be playing in next season, work began on securing Howson's future, with the outcome being a popular year-long extension for the midfielder.

READ MORE: 'Age is irrelevant' says Michael Carrick as Jonny Howson signs Middlesbrough contract extension

Speaking to the club website after signing the new deal, Howson said: "It's nice. There's been a few one-year deals around this time of the season. I feel like I'm saying the same things I've said for the last couple of seasons, but I'm still enjoying my time here, I still want to carry on and it's great that the club want me to be here.

"But also I think I can still play a part as well, so it's nice for both sides. I’ve made no secret of the fact I wanted to stay, there were some little discussions to have, but it was pretty straightforward. It’s nice once you actually get it signed. It is nice to know you have the faith of the club.

"I have a lot of reasons I want to carry on and keep putting everything I've got into it. One of the reasons is to repay the faith that's been shown in me. Whether that's the club, the manager, I have hundreds of reasons I want to carry on. We've been talking for a couple of weeks and it was pretty straightforward but until it's signed and all sorted, it's hard to come out and say yeah I'll be here."

Howson's new deal will see him move into an eighth season at the club. He may turn 36 this month, but he's earned the new deal with a string of consistently high-level performances throughout the campaign, with his dedication and hard work to prolong his career paying off.

His new deal comes as Boro launch their Legacy Numbers initiative too, which sees the club look back over history and recognise the achievement of every player to play professionally for the club. Debuting in 2017, Howson is number 886 on the list, with most-recent debutant James Wilson becoming 999. It means there have been 113 Boro debutants since Howson - a fact he admits he was way off with when guessing.

"I don't have social media but someone close to me had mentioned it and asked me how many players I thought had made their debut since I started," he said. "I was quite a bit off. It's perception, you look at it and think a lot of people have come through the door, or from a personal point of view, it's a nice achievement that I'm still involved and playing when that amount of people have come through the door.

"In regards to the age thing, it's perception again. Some players who played this season weren't even born when I made my professional debut. My mates tell me I'm past it, call me old, 'it's time to pack it in and let the younger lads have a go', but they do also say it's good going that I am still going. That's how I look at it, little milestones and little things like that."

Howson's new deal capped a good week for him last week. The night before his new deal was signed, he was voted Players' Player of the Year by his teammates. Many will tell you being recognised by your fellow peers is one of the biggest compliments, and Howson was certainly honoured.

"I was surprised," he said. "It took me aback a bit. In my own personal time, with certain things in life or to do with football, when you have your moment to yourself, sometimes things can get to you a bit. That surprised me a bit last night.

"Any individual or team award is always a great thing. But to be recognised by the players you spend a lot of time with, train day-in, day-out, play matches, have that respect, it meant so much to me. I'm probably a bit naive sometimes in regard to things like that and how much you can affect certain people. To get that recognition was a nice moment."