Jonathan Woodgate says he wants to impose his own style on Middlesbrough – but will draw inspiration from a Newcastle United legend as he steps into his first managerial role.
Woodgate was officially unveiled as Tony Pulis’ replacement at the Riverside Stadium on Friday, and is keen to hit the ground running with pre-season only a matter of weeks away.
And one of Woodgate’s priorities ahead of the new campaign will be imposing a new style of play on his Middlesbrough side – which will he believes will be in stark contract to that seen under Pulis last term.
But that doesn’t mean the former defender won’t be drawing inspiration from his predecessor, while he is also keen to take lessons from other managers he has worked under – including ex-Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and Newcastle United legend Bobby Robson.
"He (Tony Pulis) was a superb man and I got my grounding from him,” said Woodgate, as he was unveiled to the press.
“You look at the different coaches I've worked under: Bobby Robson, Terry Venables, Harry Redknapp.
“I want to impose my style on this team.
“I know every single player, I know the club inside out and I know what needs to change.
“We need to get more fans in the Riverside Stadium and we can do that with the style of football we will play."
Owner Steve Gibson, meanwhile, was delighted to appoint the 39-year-old – hailing his appointment as a ‘different’ approach for the club.
But he stressed the need for patience with a young manager – likely leading a youthful squad – needing time to develop and grow together.
"I've known Jonathan for a long time, and we've talked a lot in the past,” said the Middlesbrough chief.
“He's been here for five years as a coach, he's been here as a player and I know the influence he had in the changing room.
“There's something about him - he's different.
“One thing we're going to have to be is patient. We're talking about bringing young players in, they'll make mistakes, we'll make mistakes but we've got to be patient."