Middlesbrough FC news: Britt Assombalonga returns to training plus Jonathan Woodgate compared to Chelsea and Rangers bosses

Middlesbrough have three more pre-season friendlies before the start of the new Championship season, while the looming August 8 transfer deadline is also getting closer – but what else has been happening in and around the Riverside? We wrap up some of the latest Boro news:

By Joe Nicholson
Thursday, 18 July, 2019, 17:15
Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga has returned to training following his involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Britt Assombalonga returns to training – Middlesbrough’s top scorer from last season rejoined his Boro teammates at Rockliffe Training Ground on Thursday.

The 26-year-old frontman had been given an extended pre-season break by Boro following his involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations with DR Congo this summer.

Assombalonga, who scored 14 Championship goals last term, could make his first appearance under new head coach Jonathan Woodgate on Saturday when Boro face Bundesliga 2 side 1. FC Heidenheim.

The Teessiders will then face EFL newcomers Salford City on Tuesday, July 23.

Hignett backs Woodgate to succeed – Former Boro midfielderand assistant manager Craig Hignett has backed Woodgate to be a success at the Riverside.

When asked about Boro’s new head coach following Hartlepool’s 4-0 defeat to the Teessiders on Sunday, the Pools boss said: “He’s got a fantastic opportunity at a great club with good players.

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“We’ve seen already with Frank Lampard what he did at Derby what a new manager can achieve - and he has got the Chelsea job now.

“Steven Gerrard has been a success at Rangers and turned the Newcastle job down too if reports are to be believed.

“For me Woody’s up there with them, he’s that calibre and if he does well with Middlesbrough you never know what can happen.”

Saint-Etienne tickets now on sale – Boro fans can get their final glimpse of Woodgate’s new-look side when the Teessiders face Saint-Etienne at the Riverside on Sunday July 28 (3pm kick-off).

Tickets are available to buy in the West Stand only and are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for over-65s and under-18s. Season cards will NOT be activated for the fixture.

The game will come just five days before Boro’s Championship opener at Luton on Friday, August 2 with ticket details also available for that game.