The 32-year-old has been deployed at right-back, centre-back and in midfield this season, and has been one of Boro's best performers. 

New Boro boss Neil Warnock opted to use Howson in a holding midfield role at Stoke at the weekend, where he provided a superb first-time pass to assist Marcus Tavernier's goal.

Howson says having the year-long contract extension finalised means he can concentrate on Boro's final seven fixtures.

"I was obviously very pleased to get it sorted, get it done and concentrate on the football," he said.

"There's a lot of people to thank who have got me to this position.

"We've got a busy month with games coming thick and fast.

"Everyone knows the importance of it but at the same time we'll look forward to it as well."

Warnock has stated his desire for leaders in the Boro dressing room, and having already praised him for his attitude and workrate, will no doubt be looking to Howson as an experienced senior figure.

"'I'm not the loudest on and off the pitch, but I like to lead by example if you can get a few following you that's great," Howson said.

"But everyone's got a part to play, and with the amount of games coming up everyone has to be counted on.

"They are all going to be big games, whether the opposition are around us or not. It's a strange time to judge teams, it feels like the start of a season almost.

"But we're fully aware of the situation, we'll take one game at a time. You don't want Saturday's result to go to waste, we want another good performance and hopefully another good result."

Watch the full interview with Jonny Howson in the video player above.