Jonathan Woodgate has revealed his belief that he would have guided Middlesbrough to safety last season if he’d have kept his job.
The 41-year-old spent the majority of last season as manager of his hometown club but was sacked from his position in June last year with the club sitting just outside of the Championship relegation zone by goal difference.
Since then Woodgate has had plenty of time for reflection before taking on the Bournemouth job on an deal until the end of the season.
Good Friday will see Woodgate come up against his former employers for the first time since his sacking, but asked for his take on his Riverside exit the former defender had a defiant message his doubters.
As quoted by the Northern Echo, Woodgate said: “I got a code to watch all of Middlesbrough’s games because I wanted them to do well.
“I know a lot of staff at the club personally who I’m friends with, a lot of people behind the scenes, and if they’d have gone down, they might have lost their jobs.
“That’s the last thing I would have wanted to see – people who I know, in that situation. So, I’m pleased they had the run they did, even though, in my view, we’d have still stayed up anyway…”
Woodgate added: “I’ve got no point to prove.
“The only point I’ve got to prove is to myself, to get Bournemouth into the play-off positions and into the Premier League. That’s my objective.
“There’ll be no emotion, you’ve just got to get on with it. I’ll have to be cold when I’m out there. I’ve got to make the right decisions, and there’ll be no emotion attached to the game for me.
“I want Bournemouth to win. I’m manager of their football club. I hold a lot of respect for Middlesbrough Football Club, they’re doing well this season, and they’ve got a really good manager in there who’s got eight promotions and who did well with them last season. They’ve brought ten players in this season, so they’ve given it a real go and they’re up there.”
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While Jonathan Woodgate claims that he doesn’t have a point to prove it’s clear that he’ll be very motivated for this one.
The former defender endured a tough time during his reign as Middlesbrough manager and attracted plenty of criticism over the course of the season – some of it being a little bit unfair.
As a result he’ll be keen to prove his worth as a manger when Bournemouth take on the Teessiders as this is his chance to prove himself.