Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate has been handed a welcome piece of good news, after he revealed that he expects left-back Hayden Coulson to return to action after the international break.
Woodgate’s side have found themselves short of options on the left-hand side of their defence, with George Friend also out through injury, and summer signing from Blackpool Marc Bola struggling to adapt to the Championship.
Coulson had played the full 90 minutes of ‘Boro’s opening two games of the season, but has been absent since then due to injury, although it now appears as though he could be close to a return to action, following Woodgate’s latest comments.
Providing an update on Coulson after his side’s 2-1 defeat away to Birmingham City on Friday night, Woodgate was quoted by Teesside Live as saying: “Hayden will be back after the international break hopefully.”
It seems as though ‘Boro will have to wait slightly longer before they are able to call upon Friend again, as Woodgate continued: “George will be four or five weeks.”
Even so, it seems as though the ‘Boro boss is looking forward to having both players available again, as he added: “It will be good to get them both back, the more the better.”
Following that defeat at St Andrew’s, Middlesbrough are now 20th in the Championship table with ten points from 11 league games, and return to action following the international break with the visit of league leaders West Brom to the Riverside Stadium a week on Saturday.
This will be a big relief for Woodgate.
Things just haven’t gone right for him so far this season, and it already seems as though the pressure is starting to mount on him slightly.
You feel therefore that having Coulson back after the international break is just the sort of thing he needs right now, if he is to have any hope of turning things around quickly.
Ryan Shotton looked to struggle filling in in that position against Birmingham, so having a more natural left-back such as Coulson back there after the break, should give ‘Boro a better chance of staying solid in defence and potentially grinding out some much-needed results.