Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate quizzed on Jonny Howson right-back selection

Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate says Jonny Howson could play at right-back in the Championship this season.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 10:34 am
Jonny Howson played at right-back for Middlesbrough against Gateshead and Hartlepool.

The 31-year-old, who has predominantly played in midfield for Boro and his previous clubs, was deployed on the right side of defence during the recent pre-season friendlies against Gateshead and Hartlepool.

That was partly down to Boro’s lack of options in the full-back positions, with Woodgate moving Ryan Shotton across to a centre-back role.

Fourth paragraph

Boro’s head coach still expects to make signings this summer ahead of the August 8 deadline, and full-back could be an area where Boro look to strengthen.

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Teenager Djed Spence, 18, is another option at right-back after making some promising cameos in pre-season but has made just two appearances for the senior side.

When asked if Howson could be a permanent option at right-back this season, Woodgate replied: “Jonny can play right-back, he can play eight, he can play ten, he can play wide right. For me at the minute, he’s doing a job for me at right-back and I think he’s going to be very good for us.

When pushed if Howson could play at full-back in the Championship, the head coach added: “He’s got a chance.”

On the other side of defence George Friend’s injury has provided opportunities for academy graduates Patrick Reading and Hayden Coulson in recent weeks.

Reading, 20, started Boro’s first two friendlies of the summer against Grazer AK and Gateshead, while Coulson impressed in the 4-0 win at Hartlepool on Sunday.