Middlesbrough coach Leo Percovich is determined to make the Riverside a fortress under new manager Jonathon Woodgate.
Woodgate was appointed as the Teeside club’s new boss on Friday with Percovich named as a member of his coaching staff.
The 50-year-old Uruguayan returns to Boro for his second stint at the club after serving as their goalkeeping coach between 2013 and 2017.
Percovich, who became a fan favourite in his previous spell at the club, is excited to have the support of the Boro fans again and has indicated he wants to make the Riverside a fortress.
Speaking to mfc.co.uk, he said: “We want to win. We want to make this place a great club like it is.”
“We have all the support from the club, from the manager. We work as a unit, and I know for sure we will have all the support from the fans because they will recognise themselves in this team – what is Teesside, what is Tees pride.”
“The idea is it to make it strong again, the Riverside fortress. Every team coming here, they will dread it. They know we have this loyal army supporting us.”
“We need the time, we need patience because it’s not going to happen tomorrow. But it’s starting to happen now and that is fantastic.”
Percovich joins the club from his previous role as the manager of the Fluminense under-20s side and says the offer from Boro was too much to turn down.
He said: “When Boro rings, the heartbeat is very strong. It’s hard to say no.”
“I am proud for Woody to choose me and that the club supports the idea because Woody knows too many names, too many people.”
“People see the passion, the love, the desire. But under the water, still Leo, is knowledge, experience, with some talent.”
“I know Woody knows that from behind the scenes. So this is the time I have to show I am much more than only passion.”
Percovich’s words should excite Boro fans because making the Riverside into a fortress could have a huge impact on whether the club are able to climb back to the top of the Championship next season and is exactly what they should be looking to do.
In 2018/19, the Teesside club won more points on the road (37) than they did at home (36), which for a club that is looking for promotion is simply not good enough.
Ideally, Boro will be looking to emulate Sheffield United and Norwich City who both achieved automatic promotion last season and had the two best home records in the league.
The Riverside is a big stadium with a capacity of 34,742 and if Woodgate can get it bouncing and his team winning at home it could be vital for their promotion hopes.