This player is 'massive' for Middlesbrough as Jonathan Woodgate hails his walking wounded
Jonathan Woodgate has hailed his walking wounded for their leadership and the example set to the rest of the Middlesbrough squad.
Darren Randolph, George Friend and Ashley Fletcher were all expected to miss the 2-2 draw with QPR last weekend but all made themselves available for selection – with Woodgate pleased with the ongoing commitment levels shown despite Boro’s ongoing struggles with the club deep in a relegation battle.
Woodgate hailed experienced defender George Friend – who has struggled this season with an adductor injury – for his influence, in particular, on the rest of the squad.
Woodgate said: “He can still get forward from that area, he can carry his run on and overload from that side of the pitch.
“He’s a top fella, I’d love a George Friend constantly but he’s still struggling from his injury from last season so to play [at QPR] and knocking on my door is fantastic.
“He’s been massive for us.
“I’ve got no negative people in that dressing room, if there are they get flushed out by the leaders, Friend, Howson, Randolph, Ayala, they don’t take no **** and they’re in it together.
“We have got to be positive,” added Woodgate, Boro have a free weekend due to the international break.
Friend, one of the higher earners in the Boro squad, was this week linked with a January move to Stoke City, two points adrift of Boro in 23rd place.