Luke Ayling reveals his Middlesbrough vs Leeds United regret and outlines promotion wish

Luke Ayling wishes he could be involved in Middlesbrough's clash with Leeds United at the Riverside Stadium tonight. The right back is ineligible to feature in the Championship tussle to due the conditions of his loan from his parent club.

Ayling, a promotion winner with United in 2020, left Elland Road back in January, joining Boro on loan until the end of the 2023/24 season. Speaking to Sky Sports before kick-off, Ayling said: "I love playing football and I would love to be out here tonight with the boys that I've built up a good relationship with over the last few months.

"I would love to be out there to help them because we are on a good run of form and I'd like to carry that on. Unfortunately, I can't play but I can sit back and hopefully we will see a really good game of football."

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United travelled to Teesside on the back of a three-match winless run. Daniel Farke's troops have slipped to third in the Championship after taking just five points from a possible 15 since the international break.

"It is quite clear that every team up there is feeling a little bit of pressure and that's normal," said Ayling. "There isn't a team that goes through a whole Championship season winning every game. We know how hard it is.

"I feel like their dip in form has come at the wrong time but they are still right there. They know that if they get seven to nine points then they will probably still get promoted in a season where we started with maybe 13 players going to Birmingham. We had a few players that didn't want to go that day. It looked really bleak for us.

"These boys have done really well to get themselves back up there and they've still got a chance to get promoted. Nerves are a big part but they have got some big players and personalities in that dressing room and I'm sure they can get over the line."