Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate explains his second-half substitutions against Wigan
Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate admitted his side’s 1-0 win over Wigan ‘wasn't the greatest spectacle’ but couldn’t hide his relief after claiming a first competitive win in charge.
The Teessiders edged past the Latics at the Riverside following Britt Assombalonga’s header midway through the first half.
Boro’s performance was far from convincing but, after picking up just one point in their opening three league games, the result was all that mattered.
“A win's a win and that's the most important thing,” said Woodgate after the game.
“Listen, the Championship is a grind and sometimes you've got to grind it out and I thought we did that. I thought the subs who came on were very, very good, especially tactically I got what I wanted from them.
“It wasn't the greatest spectacle but it's three points and we needed them.”
“We played well against Brentford and got zilch. We played better at Luton and got one point, we didn't play as well tonight and got three points.
After withdrawing winger Marcus Browne, who had been booked, at half-time to bring on Marvin Johnson, Woodgate changed his system midway through the second half.
The departure of left-back Marc Bola, who made way for George Saville, saw Boro change to a back three and Woodgate says the decision was tactical to deal with Wigan wing-back Nathan Byrne.
"I thought Byrne was getting too much space so I put Marvin Johnson on and tweaked it to a three,” added Woodgate.
“I thought it was important to do that at the time in the game because they were looking a bit dangerous. I thought George Saville came on and gave us more discipline in midfield, even when Rudy (Gestede) came on I was pleased with that.
'I’ve got a really thin squad but I've got to rely on them all and throughout the season I'm going to need my bench.
"Marcus Browne was unlucky to come off but I thought he could have been sent off so I didn't want to take that risk, he'd been doing really well but I thought I'd bring Marvin on.”