Middlesbrough FC news: Jonathan Woodgate reflects on Leeds United experience

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate has reflected on beginning his career at Leeds United.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th September 2019, 4:45 pm
Jonathan Woodgate in his Middlesbrough days.

A solid defender, Woodgate rose through the youth teams at Elland Road before leaving the Yorkshire club for Newcastle United and later enjoying spells at Real Madrid, Tottenham and Middlesbrough.

Woodgate was part of the Leeds side which reached the Champions League semi-final whilst under the stewardship of David O’Leary during the 2000/01 season.

The squad that lost to Valencia 3-0 in the second leg included Hary Kewell, Lee Bowyer, Rio Ferdinand, Alan Smith and Danny Mills and Ian Harte.

Woodgate, however, pointed towards figures from his earlier days at the club in helping shape his current attitude of professionalism.

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Speaking to The Athletic, Boro’s boss said: “When I came through at Leeds United, I had senior players like David Batty, Nigel Martyn, [and] Dave Wetherall around.

“They wouldn’t let your standards dip. My youth team coaches were the same.

“At 16, I was in accommodation in Wetherby with Pete Gunby and his wife. He’d check on you at 9 am every morning on the button and if the beds weren’t made, if you weren’t stood in your room like a soldier, he’d go mad.

“It’s things like that. If your standards are good off the pitch, you’ll be miles better on it because if you get the smallest detail wrong, it’ll fall down. Like a pack of dominoes — one goes and they all go.”