Jonathan Woodgate explains what he expects from his Middlesbrough squad as they jet-off to Austria

Jonathan Woodgate has challenged his Middlesbrough squad to embrace the hard work that awaits them during their pre-season training camp.

By Mark Donnelly
Sunday, 30 June, 2019, 16:45
Jonathan Woodgate has this challenge for his Middlesbrough squad

A 28-man squad made the journey to Austria in a now-customary pre-season trip, which will give Woodgate the first chance to impose his desired playing style on the side.

And ahead of the trip, which will also see Boro face Grazer AK in a friendly on July 5, the new manager is keen to see his side gel together.

“I want the group to become as one,” he said, speaking to mfc.co.uk.

“We have a lot of young players here and it’s important that they become part of the group.

“We’re also looking at the physical aspect. We’re looking to work on fitness, we had five good days at the training ground, but this is where the really hard work starts.

“There’ll be a tactical element with them as well to show them what we want from them during the season.

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“It will be hard work for them.”

Boro returned for pre-season on July 24, with the exception of a number of international players who were handed an extended break.

And Woodgate has been left delighted with the efforts of his squad in the early days of pre-season – particularly from the younger players handed a chance to shine.

“I’m pleased with the work ethic and desire that they’ve shown, especially the young players,” he added.

“They seem to really want it and have grasped what we want from them, so I’ve been pleased.”