Jonathan Woodgate admits Middlesbrough were playing catch-up in the transfer market and outlines future strategy

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate admitted the club were playing catch-up in the transfer market following his appointment in June and says they will be better prepared in the future.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 8:34 am
Jonathan Woodgate was appointed Middlesbrough head coach on June 14.

Woodgate was appointed Boro’s new head coach on June 14 after the Boro hierarchy interviewed several candidates for the role, resulting in a backlog in several areas.

“When was it I got the job, middle of June? We were playing catch up,” said Woodgate. “I couldn’t organise the full pre-season of where I wanted to go and with transfers.

“The club interviewed a lot of candidates so I had my own targets who I wanted and I had that in my presentation.”

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Boro completed their fourth signing of the window on Wednesday when right-back Anfernee Dijksteel signed for the Teessiders from Charlton on a three-year deal.

All three of Boro’s outfield signings, Dijksteel, left-back Marc Bola and midfielder Marcus Browne, were all on Woodgate’s presentation and identified as primary targets following his appointment.

The Boro head coach is still hopeful his recruitment team can land one more signing ahead of Thursday’s 5pm deadline, but only if the deal is right for the club.

“I’ll be quite chilled to be honest because there won't be like a flapping of we need to get someone in,” said Woodgate when asked how he’ll be feeling on deadline day.

“We need the right one, if it's not the right one for the football club they won't be brought in. Looking forward, I think our transfer windows need to be done earlier, no commotion on the last day.

“Let's be planned, let's have a strategy in place, here's our target, here's our second target and here's our third target, it needs to be like that.”

All three of Boro’s outfield signings have praised Woodgate for the way he wants his team to play - a key selling point when attracting players to the Riverside.

“I sit them down and tell them how I want to play the game,” added Woodgate. “I think most players want to play the game like we do: high pressing, passes, get on the ball and play through the thirds, be aggressive.”