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Boro sign former Black Cat Leadbitter

Grant Leadbitter has joined Middlesbrough on a three-year deal Credit: ITV

Middlesbrough have made their first summer signing in former Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter.

The 26-year-old joins Tony Mowbray's side on a free transfer after his contract with Ipswich Town expired at the end of last season. He's now signed a three-year deal at the Riverside.

Chester-le-Street born Leadbitter began his career with the Black Cats and made 123 appearances for the club before moving to Ipswich in September 2009.

  1. Phil Roscoe

Boro keep playoff hopes alive

Middlesbrough kept alive their playoff hopes last night with a 2-1 win over fellow promotion chasers Southampton.

It was an uphill task for Tony Mowbray's side with Saints taking the lead after 46 seconds. Rickie Lambert was released on the right, and his cross found Billy Sharp at the far post.

However Boro fought their way back into the match, and drew level on the stroke of half-time through Nicky Bailey's deflected shot from the edge of the box.

Then with just 13 minutes left, Merouane Zemmama's superb free-kick put the home side 2-1 ahead.

The result means second-placed Southampton will have to wait until next weekend's home clash with Coventry to clinch automatic promotion. Middlesbrough on the other hand will be hoping they can beat Watford away, and that Cardiff lose to Crystal Palace, in the race for sixth place.


Mowbray's home form headache

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray says his side's home form may have ruined their chances of making this season's Championship playoffs.

Boro have been among the top six for most of the campaign, although they've managed to score just 20 goals at the Riverside.

The inability to find the net was a problem during their last game against Doncaster on Tuesday, which ended 0-0. The result means Middlesbrough are now four points adrift of Blackpool and Cardiff, who occupy fifth and sixth.

If either side record more than a point this weekend, it would leave Boro's promotion hopes hanging by a thread.

Speaking ahead of his team's home match with second placed Southampton tomorrow, Mowbray said: "The disappointment of dropping two points at home on Tuesday night was a huge blow to us.

"It's been a struggle for most the season at home to open teams up. We haven't scored enough goals this season.

"But let's wait and see. You never know in football."

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