Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate has this strong message ahead of Derby and Fulham clashes

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan WoodgateMiddlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate
Jonathan Woodgate has warned his staff and players to avoid becoming complacent – after he scooped the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award for December.

Boro’s fine form has seen them climb up the second tier table, with eye-catching wins over West Brom and Preston North End helping Woodgate earn the accolade.

And while delighted to be honoured, Woodgate knows fortunes can quickly change in football – and has advised his players to avoid complacency ahead of some key fixtures in the coming weeks.

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“We’ve had some good results,” he said, reflecting on December’s form.

“I don’t think many Boro fans thought we would win at West Brom or Preston, but we did really well. I thought we would, and the players did, and that’s the most important thing.

“Once you get one good result like that, it snowballs and you remain confident. When you start winning games, you really believe in yourself.

“But like I say, we can’t get complacent. That’s the biggest thing that can kill you in an instant.

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“If we don’t go out there and work as hard as we can, then we’ll quickly come unstuck. If we go out there and get beat, fair and square, I’ll have no complaints.

“But I can’t handle the work rate not being there. If we don’t turn up like that, then we’ll get nothing. Simple as that.”

“Sometimes, there was maybe a lack of confidence at times, but now you can see that we’re starting to play well,” he continued.

“It’s starting to come together a bit, but you can’t get complacent. Alright, I’m Manager of the Month. But that can quickly change."

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The award is the first of Woodgate’s managerial career, and comes on the eve of crucial games with Fulham and Derby County.

And the Middlesbrough chief was quick to praise those around him after being handed the accolade.

“It’s all about the staff who are behind me,” he added.

“That’s not just my coaches, it’s all my staff at the training ground. They’re the biggest part of it all for me. They’re the ones who keep the place ticking, I just deal with the players.”