Howson’s tough start with Middlesbrough
Jonny Howson arrived at Middlesbrough last summer from Norwich as Gary Monk looked to guide Boro straight back to the Premier League.
However, Monk did not do the best job and was sacked by the end of December.
Howson also did not impress for Middlesbrough under Monk and was used as a scapegoat on several occasions for Boro’s poor displays.
Howson would play 48 games in all competitions for Boro last season, in which he managed three goals and just two assists.
‘Of course I was aware of it (criticism), it’s probably the first time in my career I’ve been singled out like that’
After receiving a lot of criticism last season, Howson has opened up on how it affected him and his family:
“I’m not on social media, so that was a blessing.
“Of course I was aware of it (criticism), it’s probably the first time in my career I’ve been singled out like that, and it is hard. When you care and you’re frustrated and you want to put things right, you probably try a bit too hard. Daft as it sounds, that can go against you.
“You over concentrate, over-think things. You try to force a difficult ball instead of playing a simple pass. You’re maybe wanting to make up for mistakes to prove a point. It isn’t like when you’re relaxed and free and everything flows.
“I look back on it now and I’d say it’s probably helped me. It’s made me tougher as a person. And I’m not complaining at all, by the way.
“To be honest, I know when I’m not good enough and I’m experienced enough to take stick. Your biggest critic should always be yourself, and I am.
“The only thing that upset me – and this isn’t something I’ve really spoken about before – was the way it affected my family. I’m paid to take stick but they aren’t. My parents were up there in the stands.
“So were my wife and children. They’re having to hear people shouting things about me. OK, it wasn’t over the top, but it wasn’t nice. It was hard knowing they were subjected to that.”
Howson’s improved 2018/19 season
This season, however, Howson has improved leaps and bounds from his 2017/18 displays.
The midfielder has featured in every league game Middlesbrough have played this season.
Howson is able to control the game much better and has already managed two assists for Boro this season, the same total he managed in 48 games last season.
Boro’s next game is vs Sheffield Wednesday on Friday and Howson will no doubt be in the starting line-up once again.