Middlesbrough FC news: Jonathan Woodgate was 'very lucky' to get the Boro job says Tony Pulis

Former Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis believes Jonathan Woodgate was ‘very lucky’ to take charge of his hometown club so early in his managerial career.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th November 2019, 6:05 am
Jonathan Woodgate was assistant manager at Middlesbrough under Tony Pulis last season.

Since his appointment at the Riverside in June, Woodgate has won just two of his sixteen league games in charge of the Teessiders, who drew 2-2 at QPR on Saturday afternoon.

On the plus side, Boro frontman Britt Assombalonga ended a five-game goal drought, yet, in contrast to recent performances, Boro looked vulnerable at the back.

Pulis later appeared as a pundit on the EFL’s highlights show on Quest and was inevitably asked about his former club.

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“Two things, the real positive for Boro is Britt scored two goals because they’ve played games and created lots of chances this year,” said Pulis.

“Secondly, Jonathan will be really disappointed at their defending at times today and you’ve got to try to balance the two out.

“They’ve got a young manager, they’ve played better I think than what their results have shown and with the chairman they’ve got they’ll hopefully give him the opportunity and the time to push on and improve.”

Off the pitch, Boro’s cost-cutting in recent transfer windows has been apparent.

The Teessiders signed just three outfield players, all of whom were playing in League One last season, over the summer and spent nowhere near the amount they did when Garry Monk was in charge two seasons ago.

Even so, Pulis thinks Woodgate is fortunate to be in the position he’s in.

“He’s a very, very lucky lad to have such a big club as a first job,” added the Welshman. “It’s his hometown club and if you just said do you need time or this that and the other before he managed the club he’d have said no.

“Yeah he’s jumped in at a time where it’s been difficult but like I say I think they’ve played better than what their results have shown.

“They’ve just got to tidy up both ends and be a bit tighter at the back and a little bit more effective up front.”

When asked if the fans will like Woodgate, Pulis replied: “He’s a local lad, lets hope they do like him.”