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Woodgate named Middlesbrough head coach

Woodgate named Middlesbrough head coach
By Reuters

14/06/2019 at 09:43Updated 14/06/2019 at 11:23

Middlesbrough have appointed their former captain Jonathan Woodgate as head coach on a three-year deal, the Championship club said on Friday.

Woodgate previously served on Boro's coaching staff under former manager Tony Pulis, who left last month after failing to secure promotion to the Premier League.

"Middlesbrough Football Club are delighted to confirm that Jonathan Woodgate will head up a new-look senior coaching team," Boro said in a statement.

" Our former captain will be joined by current Republic of Ireland assistant manager Robbie Keane, Leo Percovich, who was previously on the coaching staff at the club from 2013-2017, and one-time Boro man Danny Coyne, as goalkeeping coach."

Woodgate’s challenge is to end Boro’s exile from the Premier League after they missed out on promotion for the second successive season following their return to the Sky Bet Championship at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, the club’s only Premier League season since 2008-09.

He made a total 112 appearances for Boro in two spells in a glittering career, albeit one plagued by injury, which also included spells at first club Leeds, Newcastle, Real Madrid and Stoke, as well as eight England caps.

The former centre-back told the club's official website: "We want to gets fans on the edge of their seat. We want as many fans back in the stadium as we can by playing attacking, exciting football with high pressure, pressing in different areas.

"In not just talking about gung-ho, I'm talking about players running the extra yard, knowing when to press, how to press.

" I'm looking to bring kids through the system and that's really important for this football club."

Following his retirement in 2016, Woodgate took up a scouting role with Liverpool in Spain, but returned to Teesside in March 2017 to work under interim manager Steve Agnew.

He later took on a role with the club’s Under-18s before being elevated to the first-team ranks once again.

Chairman Steve Gibson took his time in identifying the right man for the job, but ultimately opted – not for the first time – to appoint a young, ambitious coach.

He did just that in 2006 when he asked then Boro defender Gareth Southgate to replace Steve McClaren at the helm, and what the current England boss learned during his time in charge at the Riverside Stadium provided the foundation for his role with the national team.