Middlesbrough goalkeeper Darren Randolph has spoken about the club’s change in approach under new manager Jonathan Woodgate this season.
Woodgate took over at The Riverside Stadium earlier this summer, after the club elected not to extend the contract of Tony Pulis at the end of last season, with the Welshman having guided the club to a seventh-place finish in the Championship.
It has been a difficult opening month of competitive action for ‘Boro under Woodgate, with the Teeside club winning just one of their opening six league games, leaving them 18th in the division at the point of the first international break of the season.
Discussing the changes in the style of play Middlesbrough have made under Woodgate, Randolph – who is currently on international duty with the Republic of Ireland – was quoted by The Teeside Gazette as saying: “Under Tony, we were a lot more compact and defensive-minded, which enabled us to stay in games and probably nick some goals, whereas now we’re probably more expansive and open and attacking.”
In spite of the underwhelming start to Woodgate’s time in charge of the club, it seems Randolph remains optimistic about their prospects this year, as he added:
“We’ve been unlucky with a few of the results that we’ve had so far, but there are lots of positives to take from the games we’ve already played.
“We’re getting used to a new style of football that he wants us to play.” he added.
Middlesbrough’s return to action after the international break sees them host Reading at The Riverside Stadium on Saturday.
This is quite interesting from Randolph.
It seems as though the goalkeeper is reluctant to criticise either manager’s style of play, despite the scrutiny that both approaches have come under recently.
I do agree with him to an extent with what he says about ‘Boro being unlucky, as I have been impressed with the way they have played at times this season, even if they do seem to be lacking in an end product right now.
While you imagine that could change in time, you have to wonder whether the pressure to get results will allow Woodgate for that improvement to be made before he is forced to revert to a style his squad are perhaps more familiar with.