Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate highlights key quality which his side must improve
Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate wants his players to step up and be heard in the absence of some key senior figures.
Boro will be without captain George Friend and the experienced Jonny Howson for the next few weeks after both underwent minor surgeries on Tuesday.
Woodgate was already short of first-team players and admitted his side need to improve their communication qualities.
“I need voices on the training ground, at times you can’t hear anyone talk. You have to talk,” said the Boro boss ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Reading.
“You can help the game so much if you talk a little, even the odd word … ‘show him here, there, I’m here, you are there, pass the ball this side.’ You need talkers out there in any game, it makes a coach’s job easier if you talk out there.
“It’s not ideal to have George and Jonny out but you deal with it.”
Woodgate also singled out midfielder Adam Clayton and defender Ryan Shotton, both 30, as two of Boro’s best communicators, as well as stand in captain Dael Fry.
“Clayts is constantly talking to players out there, looking for a reaction,” added Woodgate. “He has little reminders for the players of what they need to do.
“If you don’t have anyone shouting you will be running round in circles. that’s what the players have to do.
“Players have to step up, Dael has to that is why he is captain. Shotton is a very good communicator too.”