Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate quizzed on where Jonny Howson will play and Sheffield Wednesday team selection

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate has a couple of big decisions to make ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Sheffield Wednesday at the Riverside.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 27th September 2019, 11:00 am
Jonny Howson has played in midfield and at right-back for Middlesbrough this season.
Jonny Howson has played in midfield and at right-back for Middlesbrough this season.

The Boro boss changed formation during last weekend’s trip to Cardiff, where Boro operated in a 3-5-2 system rather than their usual 4-3-3 set-up.

It seems likely Woodgate will go back to his preferred system to face the Owls, and there is evident competition for places in both central midfield and defence.

Jonny Howson is available again after returning to the bench at the Cardiff City Stadium, just eight days after a hernia operation.

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Howson, who has played in midfield for most of his career, was Boro’s regular right-back at the start of the campaign but has lost his place to new arrival Anfernee Dijksteel.

Woodgate also made a change in midfield last week, with Lewis Wing dropping to the bench and George Saville coming into the side.

When asked if Howson could also compete for one of the attacking midfield slots, Woodgate said: “He’s competing there, he’s competing at right-back as well. He’s putting pressure on Anfernee and the midfielders.”

Woodgate has previously claimed he knew his team immediately after the previous game. That isn’t the case this weekend though.

If Boro do revert to a back four, one of Dael Fry, Ryan Shotton or Daniel Ayala will probably have to miss out.

“I have things to think about,” added Woodgate when asked if he knows his starting XI at Wednesday’s press conference. “I didn’t make it straight after the game, I’m still thinking about the team now.”