Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate discusses Blackburn team selection and sends message to youngsters

Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate says Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup exit makes his team selection ‘quite simple’ ahead of Saturday’s trip to Blackburn.

By Joe Nicholson
Thursday, 15 August, 2019, 17:41
Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate.

After Boro’s penalty shootout defeat to Crewe, Woodgate described the performance as ‘terrible’ and questioned the players’ attitudes after going out to League Two opposition.

Woodgate made ten changes to his side against The Alex but those who came in failed to take their opportunity.

The Boro boss is, therefore, expected to recall many of the players who were rested for the midweek fixture.

“When you have a different starting XI like we did against Crewe you expect people to be knocking the door down but that didn’t happen,” said Woodgate.“That makes the team quite simple to pick for Saturday.”

Woodgate has urged fans not to judge players on one bad performance, especially new arrivals Marcus Browne, Marc Bola and Anfernee Dijksteel who made their first senior starts for the club.

The Boro boss says players have responded well in training but has issued a warning regarding standards and what he expects.

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“Obviously not the result we were looking for but they’ve given me everything so far every single day in training since I got the job,” added Woodgate when reflecting on Tuesday’s match.When quizzed on the players’ attitudes, Woodgate once again used captain George Friend and Jonny Howson as examples of perfect role models for Boro’s youngsters.

“It’s the biggest thing. You can have talented kids but if you don’t have the work rate, the mindset you won’t make it. You need the desire and hunger to improve and succeed,” he added.

“You need to turn up every day in training and in games and when you are playing against lesser opposition.

“If you have those players with the mentality and desire and willingness to improve every day then they will go further than the ones with the talent.

“The kids need to know exactly where the line is. They know where it is. And if they cross it they’ll know even more.”