'No emotion' - Jonathan Woodgate plays down Middlesbrough reunion ahead of Bournemouth clash

Jonathan Woodgate insists there will be “no emotion” when he faces Middlesbrough in the Championship on Good Friday.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 2:37 pm
Jonathan Woodgate, Caretaker Manager of AFC Bournemouth. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Jonathan Woodgate, Caretaker Manager of AFC Bournemouth. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

The 41-year-old welcomes Boro to the Vitality Stadium almost nine months after being sacked by Steve Gibson ahead of the final eight games last season.

Boro were beaten 3-0 by Swansea City at the Riverside, a result which left them narrowly outside the relegation zone and caused Woodgate to be replaced by Neil Warnock.

Warnock guided the club to safety while Woodgate took a break before joining Bournemouth in February.

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Initially, Woodgate joined as a first-team coach under Jason Tindall, however, his sacking saw the former Tottenham Hotspur defender handed the managerial role until the end of the campaign.

Both clubs are now battling it out for a play-off spot. Boro could move level on points with the seventh-placed Cherries with a win tomorrow.

When asked about his feelings on facing his for hometown club, Woodgate told Sky Sports: “No, no emotion. I’ve just got to get on with it – I’ll probably be cold when I’m out there.

"No emotion. I’ve got to make the right decisions in the game, so there will be no emotion attached at all for me.

"I want Bournemouth to win at the end of the day. I’m manager of their football club.”

Woodgate, who won nine of his 38 league games at Boro, says he still holds a lot of respect for the club – and heaped praise on his successor.

He continued: "I hold a lot of respect for Middlesbrough Football Club – they’re doing well this season and they’ve got a really good manager who has had eight promotions.

"He did well with him last season and the squad – I know they’ve got 10 players in this season, so they’ll give it a real go and they’re up there.

"We know what type of game it’s going to be, we know how Neil sets up his sides. He sets them up well and they’re difficult to play against, difficult to beat and they’ve got some good players.”

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