Jonathan Woodgate set to give youth a chance in Middlesbrough pre-season friendly
Jonathan Woodgate is set to give some of Middlesbrough’s youngsters a chance to shine in the club’s opening pre-season friendly this afternoon.
The ex-England international’s tenure as Middlesbrough head coach is due to begin today with a pre-season friendly in Austria kicking off the North East club’s Championship preparations.
Boro will play Austrian second division side Grazer AK at Ausseerland at 4pm UK time with Steve Gibson’s newly installed boss set to use the game as a fitness barometer.
“It’s important the lads get minutes under their belt,” said Woodgate to the club’s website.
“Most will play 45, some will play 60. I just want to see how they perform.
“We’ve worked really hard in training, winning the ball back as quick as we can and passing the ball. Hopefully we will put in a performance and will come through without injury.
Boro will be without trio Martin Braithwaite, Paddy McNair, Darren Randolph and George Saville who have all been on international duty which could see some youngsters given a chance to impress the new manager.
“I gave the others extra time because of the internationals. I don’t want them to go into a game this early on so they will miss out.
“The lads who are here will all get some minutes. We’ve a few more – Britt, Howson, Fry, plus the internationals, who aren’t playing so we have a good squad. But this is a chance for the younger players.”