Woodgate happy with any role he has to play, but only if Middlesbrough are victorious

Middlesbrough's Jonathan Woodgate.
Middlesbrough's Jonathan Woodgate.

Jonathan Woodgate has worn some of the most famous jerseys in football – Leeds, Newcastle, Real Madrid, Spurs and, of course, England.

But his career will be remembered as much for being plagued by injuries as it will his supreme displays as a central defender.

My body hasn’t been good for the last 10 years, but you keep on going don’t you?

However, wherever he is on Monday, whether it’s on Wembley’s turf, on the bench or in the stand, he will be happy, as long as Middlesbrough have beaten Norwich City in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.

The odds are that Woodgate will be on the bench with Aitor Karanka almost certain to start with another Boro boy, Ben Gibson, alongside Dani Ayala, though you cannot always second guess the Spaniard’s selections.

Woodgate opened his heart this week about his injury nightmares though says, at this present time, he feels as good as he ever has.

“Terrible,” he smiled when asked how feels.

“My body hasn’t been good for the last 10 years, but you keep on going don’t you?

“But no, I feel good, I feel all right. I’ve been training fine.

“When I’ve played this season I’ve played at a decent level. I can still do it on the pitch. I try to train day-in day-out.

“But I’m always going to get injured. I’ve had injuries all my career. They’re not just going to disappear like that.

“Maybe when I was younger I was a bit too quick for my own body, like Craig Bellamy once said.

“I train all the time now.

“When the manager first came I wasn’t training every day.

“But until I got that hamstring (which ruled him out of last month’s trip to Norwich) I had gone three months on the spin training every day.

“That is progress without a doubt.”

But would he be happy on bench and watching Boro win?

“I would be happy sitting anywhere as long as Boro are winning,” said the 35-year-old.

“I am a fan. If I am on the bench or in the stand I will be a nervous wreck. It means so much to me.”

Woodgate was speaking at a media conference at Rockliffe Park where he explained he had been “everywhere around the world and tried everything” to cure his injury woes.

He revealed one of the most bizarre instances came during his spell at Real Madrid.

“There was one in Madrid where I was with the doctors with a great big tear in my thigh and they had ran out of ideas,” he said.

“There was this old fella came in. I don’t know how he got into the club but he was with one of the physios.

“I met him at the physio’s house. He got this pack of grass out and started boiling it in a pan.

“He put it on my leg and started wrapping clingfilm round it.

“It was weird. Obviously it didn’t work.

“But when you’re in that state of mind you will try anything. Anything to get you back fitter.”