Jonathan Woodgate makes honest admission plus Middlesbrough injury boost

Jonathan Woodgate says Middlesbrough have always been in a relegation battle this season and has warned his players they can’t become complacent.
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate.Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate.
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate.

The Teessiders slipped to within six points of the relegation zone following Saturday’s defeat to Luton and have now gone seven league games without a win.

Following an upturn in form over the Christmas period Boro moved 10 points clear of the drop zone, yet Woodgate says the Teessiders have never been out of trouble.

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"Complacency kills you, I don’t want my players to be like that,” said Woodgate when asked about the relegation battle.

“We are in there. We are in a relegation battle, that’s without a doubt in my view and we have been really all season."

“We didn’t start the season off well and are down the bottom. At one point we were in the relegation zone and dug ourselves out of it, no doubt we can do that again.”

Woodgate will be looking for a reaction when Boro travel to Barnsley this weekend and will still be without several first-team players.

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Daniel Ayala (ankle), Patrick Roberts (hamstring), Dael Fry (thigh) and Anfernee Dijksteel (knee) all remain sidelined for the trip to Oakwell.

Dijksteel has been out since November but could feature for the club’s under-23 side in the next few weeks.

"Dijksteel has been back in training,” added Woodgate. “I will look to get him a game next Friday maybe 60, 70 minutes. Dani is still three or four weeks away. Dael is around four weeks as well."