Jonathan Woodgate reacts to Neil Warnock speculation and discusses the January transfer window

Jonathan Woodgate says Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson is right behind him despite speculation about the head coach’s future.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 3:02 pm
Jonathan Woodgate was appointed Middlesbrough's head coach in June.

Earlier this week a national newspaper report claimed Woodgate was going to be replaced by Neil Warnock at the Riverside, a rumour which was quickly dispelled.

Yet the Boro boss, who took charge of the club in June, isn’t worried about his future following a difficult start to the campaign.

The Teessiders have won just three of their 19 league games and sit a point above the relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Charlton.

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Woodgate, though, is fully focused on the job at hand.

“Speculation, not bothered at all,” said Woodgate when asked about this week’s news story. “You see it constantly. That’s not a problem at all. I don’t pay much attention to it to be honest.

“I’ve spoken to the owner, he’s really behind me, really focused on the job in hand. Results need to be a lot better than they are, but he’s right behind me.”

Woodgate hasn’t been helped by Boro’s lengthy injury list and there is a desperate need for the club to strengthen in January.

The Teessiders are already assessing their options ahead of the mid-season window, with loan deals a possibility.

When asked if Boro will be able to sign players next month, Woodgate said: “Let’s see. We’ve got seven games to play before hand.

“We know what’s out there and if something becomes available we’ll try to do it. We’ve got the FFP (Financial Fair Play) to look at, but hopefully we’ll be able to do something in January.

“That’s the job. I haven’t got a load of money to spend, but no problems at all, I’ll work with the players I’ve got.”

When pushed about his conversations with Gibson regarding potential signings, Woodgate added: “If you look at the squad, it’s really unbalanced and thin and I’m sure he understands that.

“But we have to fit in amongst the FFP. It has been tough, I’m not going to lie. It’s tough at the minute, but it will get better.”