Middlesbrough have confirmed the appointment of Jonathan Woodgate to replace Tony Pulis as the club’s Head Coach.
The club’s former defender will lead a new-look coaching team at the Riverside Stadium, which will also include former Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane.
Woodgate has signed a three-year deal as Head Coach at the club where he started his career, before moving on to Leeds United. He then returned to Boro for a two-year stint between 2006 and 2008, before then re-joining in 2012 to end his playing career on Teesside.
Boro revealed in the club statement that Woodgate will be tasked developing a “new identity” at the club, and he has now laid out his vision in his first press conference as manager on Friday afternoon.
Local journalist Dominic Shaw was present at the event, and he described Woodgate’s performance as “impressive.”
Impressive press conference. Real feeling of togetherness, with Keane, Leo & Coyne in room. Liddle too. A word that was used a few times looking ahead to next season and beyond: fun. Woodgate clear about how he wants his side to play: 'You go up in this league by scoring goals'
— Dominic Shaw (@DomShawGazette) June 14, 2019
Shaw said Woodgate emphasised the importance of “fun” at the club for next season and beyond, with the club targeting a fresh start following Pulis’ reign in charge.
Pulis almost led Boro to the Championship play-offs last season, but he received criticism from the club’s supporters for his playing style over the course of the season.
Woodgate’s comments in the press conference should really encourage Boro fans, who perhaps had reason to be nervous about the appointment given Woodgate’s lack of managerial experience.
It was always going to be vital that Pulis’ successor was to be capable of taking the club in a new direction, as the fanbase were becoming rather disillusioned in the latter end of Pulis’ tenure.
Woodgate is now making all the right noises following his appointment, and the club must now ensure they support the new boss with appropriate finances to help the club secure a return to the Premier League.