Middlesbrough set for boost as Jonathan Woodgate explains tactical West Brom switch

Middlesbrough defender Hayden Coulson will be available for Wednesday’s trip to Huddersfield after two months out with a thigh injury.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 21st October 2019, 1:01 pm

The 21-year-old left-back broke into the first team after impressing in pre-season but hasn’t featured since the Teessiders’ 1-0 defeat to Brentford.

Yet Coulson could now hand Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate a timely boost after playing 57 minutes for the club’s under-23 side on Friday night.

“Coulson will be available for selection on Wednesday,” said Woodgate following his side’s 1-0 defeat to West Brom.

Middlesbrough defender Hayden Coulson will be available for Wednesday's trip to Huddersfield.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Boro boss also confirmed that striker Rudy Gestede and captain George Friend remain out ahead of the trip to Huddersfield.

Despite Boro’s recent struggles, which has seen them drop to 21st in the Championship, it would be a surprise if Coulson was thrown straight back into the starting XI at The John Smith's Stadium.

Boro produced a much better performance against the Baggies, with Marvin Johnson and Jonny Howson operating in wing-back roles after Woodgate tweaked his formation.

“I think it suits our players,” replied Woodgate when asked why he changed his side’s shape from a 4-3-3 set-up.

“I've looked at the players and as a manager you need to realise that system wasn't bearing fruit. As a manager I have to look at that and not be pig-headed.

“You have to pick and change and you look at our players, it suits what we've got.”

“Jonny and Marvin are clever players, they know when I want them to press and sit off.”