Ex-Middlesbrough midfielder Craig Hignett discusses Jonathan Woodgate's start and Championship table comments

Former Middlesbrough midfielder Craig Hignett believes Jonathan Woodgate needs more time to implement his style of play on Teesside.

Friday, 1st November 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 1st November 2019, 4:45 pm
Former Middlesbrough midfielder Craig Hignett was sacked by Hartlepool last month.

Hignett, 49, knows all about the challenges of management after two spells in charge Hartlepool United – the club which sacked him last month.

And the former Riverside favourite has opened up on his time with Pools and Boro during an extensive radio interview with RedArmy.TV.

“It’s difficult because I think he has got a set way he wants to play and how he wants it to look,” said Hignett when asked about Woodgate.

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“At the moment he’s probably caught between trying to do that but also trying to get the best out of what he’s got and finding a way to give him the best chance to do that.

“It’s a really difficult one at the moment because he is halfy, half and that can be quite a dangerous place to be, some days you’ll be all right, some days it won’t go your way.

“You need time because it’s not going to happen over night, the change and different style of play and mindset of the players all needs changing.

“It doesn’t happen in two or three months, it’ll be a long process.”

Hignett was also asked about Woodgate’s recent comments that the Championship table is ‘lying’, after Boro dropped into the division’s relegation zone.

“As a manager you’ll say things that you’ll think I wish I hadn’t said that, and that’s all about learning,” said Hignett.

“At a club like Middlesbrough everything gets scrutinised, it’s different at Hartlepool when there aren’t as many press people there and two of them are paper and one’s a radio.

“I can understand what he’s saying, he’s trying to say their performances have been better than the points that they’ve got.

“Really performance-wise, chances-wise and decisions-wise, because they’ve had some decisions go against them, the league table should look better but it doesn’t.

“It comes out wrong if you just say the league table lies, it doesn’t lie but there are underlying reasons, that’s all he’s trying to say.”