Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga delivers verdict on new head coach Jonathan Woodgate

Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga has praised new head coach Jonathan Woodgate, saying no one at the club has a bad word to say about him.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 3:01 pm

The 26-year-old frontman, who finished as Boro’s top scorer with 14 league goals last season, is away on international duty with DR Congo at the Africa Cup of Nations.

And the striker says the appointment of Woodgate, who worked as a first-team coach under Tony Pulis last season, will be a popular appointment with the Boro squad.

"Jonathan Woodgate is a great guy," Assombalonga told the BBC. “Under Pulis he always encouraged all the boys and made sure all the boys were good.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Britt Assombalonga scored 14 Championship goals for Middlesbrough last season.

"Obviously being a player recently, he brought that vibe around the place, you can always talk to him and be level with him. I'm happy for him to have that job because I think he deserves it.

You could see he had it in him and there's not going to be one bad word around the place. Everyone loves him from the staff, the players - and everyone loves him there.”

Assombalonga was speaking ahead of Congo’s 2-0 defeat to Egypt on Wednesday, and was an unused substitute against The Pharaohs.

Goals from Aston Villa's Ahmed Elmohamady and Liverpool star Mo Salah condemned Congo to their second straight defeat, but they could still progress to the knock-out stages as one of the four third-place teams.

Meanwhile, the majority of Boro’s first-team squad returned to pre-season training at the start of this week.