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Danny Mills makes interesting Leeds United claim about Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate

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Former Leeds United and Middlesbrough defender Danny Mills has claimed that during their time with the Whites “never in a million years” did he think former teammate Jonathan Woodgate would become a manager.

Woodgate took charge of Boro in the summer and has a rocky debut campaign so far – with his side currently sitting two points above the relegation zone.

They face a battle on their hands once the 2019/20 campaign resumes but with nine games left of the season, the 40-year-old will feel confident his squad have got what they takes to remain in the Championship.

The Boro job is Woodgate’s first in management at first-team level, though after working as a coach under Tony Pulis it is perhaps no surprise that he was appointed.

It appears he wasn’t one of those players that was always destined to be a manager, however, as Mills has told Teesside Live that he didn’t seem the type during their time at Leeds in the early 2000s.

He said: “Did I ever think that Woody would become a manager in our Leeds days? Never in a million years – not while there was air on this planet.

“But the fact he surprised me is also a reminder that he was probably he was a lot more intelligent than he led people to believe in our Leeds days – Woody loved to play the fool but sometimes it takes a clever person to play the fool.

“But in all fairness the move to Real Madrid when he learned fluent Spanish showed his levels of dedication and just how much he was prepared to make an effort to succeed.

“Woody’s learned an awful lot and played with some of the best players in the world but it takes time to get your own points across and become a good coach.”

Woodgate has yet to properly prove himself as a coach. His next real test will be ensuring his side can survive when the season resumes.

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The Verdict

It’s interesting to hear that Woodgate did not seem the type of player that would go into coaching during his time at Leeds.

The jury remains out on the 40-year-old but he appears to still have the support of Boro owner Steve Gibson, which is, of course, the important thing.

Securing survival could provide him with a huge boost of confidence and may mean he is able to learn from the mistakes he made this season and succeed in the 2020/21 campaign.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Danny Mills makes interesting Leeds United claim about Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate

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