Jonathan Woodgate aiming to learn from Newcastle United legend at Middlesbrough

New Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate will be backed by the club’s hierarchy in this summer’s transfer window, but has vowed to give youth a chance at the Riverside next season

By Mark Donnelly
Friday, 14 June, 2019, 14:04
Jonathan Woodgate was appointed as Middlesbrough manager today

Woodgate signed a three-year deal with Boro yesterday, when he was asked about the Teessiders’ recruitment policy this summer.

And the former defender made it clear he wants to attract young and hungry players to the North East, while developing players already at the club and in the academy.

“Well, we’ve got Financial Fair Play guidelines, and we have to abide by that,” said Woodgate when quizzed on Boro’s transfer plans.

“The chairman has said that and made it clear. We’ll do that, and we’ll see what comes available.

“We want to recruit young players, fresh, vibrant players with a hunger and a desire to improve. That’s the most important thing for me, and me and my coaches can improve these players.

“Nowadays, you get coaches who think a 29-year-old player is finished, he can’t learn any more. Well, we’ll do that. We’ll be showing that you can improve these players.”

Boro chairman Steve Gibson has recently criticised Boro’s Championship rivals for overspending in recent years, therefore breaking the EFL’s financial fair play rules.

But when asked if Boro will have the funds to back Woodgate in this summer’s market, Gibson replied: “Of course we will, yes. We have a history of doing that don’t we?”

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Last season, former Boro boss Tony Pulis regularly pointed out the side’s lack of pace and power in wide areas, while Boro’s attacking struggles were also well documented.

But Woodgate repeatedly expressed he wants his side to play an attacking brand of football next term, a philosophy he hopes will excite the Riverside crowd.

Still, the former defender knows there are areas which must be addressed in this summer’s transfer window.

“We'll go through that as a group and we'll see what areas need to be strengthened,” he said.

“We've got a good solid foundation, especially through the spine of the team. We've got some good players and we'll look to do that.”

Woodgate says he wants to impose his own style on Middlesbrough – but will draw inspiration from a Newcastle United legend.

“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.”