The winger stepped down a division to return to his hometown club in 2015 from West Ham, with Boro boss Aitor Karanka admitting at the time that "nobody expected him to come here".
"If I didn't feel that we could have challenged and got promoted I wouldn't have made that move," he told Sky Sports News HQ.
"That's what I stressed to the people at West Ham and [manager] Slaven Bilic.
"For any other club I wouldn't leave, but it was my hometown club and I left on a bit of a sour note, five or six years ago with an injury and after a relegation, so it was nice to come back and put it right."
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