Jonathan Woodgate reveals his Middlesbrough vision and why he turned to ex-Leeds United team-mate

Jonathan Woodgate hailed Robbie Keane as a ‘fantastic’ appointment at Middlesbrough.

By Joe Nicholson
Friday, 14 June, 2019, 09:48
Jonathan Woodgate has signed a three-year deal at the Riverside.

The new Boro boss’s coaching staff will include his former Leeds United and Tottenham team-mate, former Boro goalkeeping coach Leo Percovich and ex-goalkeeper Danny Coyne.

“I’ve brought Leo (Percovich) in as part of the staff and I think it’s really important that I tap into Leo,” said Woodgate.

“He was brilliant under Aitor (Karanka), he had his back, he was trustworthy, he has a connection with the whole of Middlesbrough.

“As well as Robbie Keane – I think that’s a fantastic appointment for the football club.

“You can look at the history, at the amount of times you’ve had a striker of his ilk in the backroom team, and it’s very rare that we’ve had it.

“The goalkeeping coach, Danny Coyne, he’ll do really well for us. I’ve spoken to him at length and all three of them know what pathway we want to take."

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The 39-year-old was appointed Boro's new manager on Friday morning, after working as a first-team coach under Tony Pulis last campaign.

And Woodgate, who spent two separate spells at Boro as a player, says he won't be afraid to promote the club's youth players to take the club forward under his stewardship.

“We want to get fans on the edge of their seat," Woodgate told MFC.com. "We want as many fans back in the stadium as we can by playing attacking, exciting football with high pressure, pressing in different areas.

“I’m not just talking about gung-ho, I’m talking about players running the extra yard, knowing when to press, how to press and I’m looking to bring kids through the system and that’s really important for this football club.

“In the last few years we’ve maybe gone away from doing that, but I know every player from the Under-12s to Under-23s to first team level and I know what they can do.

“I won’t be frightened to put a young player in and the fans can start connecting with them, because they have a hunger and a desire to learn and go forward.”