Massimo Luongo explains Middlesbrough switch after ending ‘brilliant’ Sheffield Wednesday spell
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The 29-year-old spent a season down in League One with the Owls and was a big part of their push for promotion in the second half of the season.
However after Darren Moore’s side lost in the play-offs to Sunderland, it was decided that the Australian international would not be sticking around – and he’s now gone on to sign for Chris Wilder’s Middlesbrough until January.
Speaking after putting pen to paper, the tough-tackling midfielder said, “This was a brilliant opportunity for me – a massive opportunity… It’s been a long pre-season for me, waiting around and seeing what was out there. But as soon as I got the call I rushed up here and didn’t look the other way. There were a few other things going on in the background, and being a free agent is quite a tough time, especially now.
"But I’ve played against Boro for years and the size of the club was an obvious attraction. As soon as they called I thought, ‘wow, this is a big opportunity for me and I can’t turn this down’. I cannot wait."
"I am coming up to 30 soon and am probably the fittest I have ever been. If anything, I just need to get my match fitness up.
“But pre-season is probably the hardest part of any season and I’ve had the longest pre-season ever. I’ve made sure I’ve done stuff on my own - gruelling at the park by myself - and I’ve managed to train at a few places. I’ve been here a few days already too, trying to get up to speed and we’ll see how it goes.
"I’ve been dying to get back into the Championship after the season out. My time at Sheffield Wednesday was brilliant, but I just felt like it was the right time to step back up and show that I am still capable at this level."
Luongo could have been looking forward to making his Championship return this weekend when Middlesbrough faced Blackpool, however that game – like all others in the EFL – has since been postponed.