Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has claimed that his Middlesbrough counterpart Jonathan Woodgate will look to take an attack-minded approach when the two sides meet at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon.
Woodgate, who had previously played for Middlesbrough between 2006 and 2008, was brought back to the Riverside Stadium in 2012 by Mowbray during his time in charge at the club.
Now, the two are set to meet in opposing dugouts this weekend, with both managers hoping for an improvement in results from the opening games of the Championship season.
Rovers have yet to pick up a single point in the league this season, and needed two stoppage-time goals to knock League Two Oldham Athletic out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
By contrast, Middlesbrough have drawn one and lost one of their opening two league games of the campaign, and are out of the Carabao Cup after a penalty shootout defeat to another League Two side in the shape of Crewe Alexandra in midweek.
Despite that setback, Mowbray, who also appeared over 400 times for Middlesbrough during his playing career, is still expecting a tough test this weekend, and assessing his former club in his pre-match press conference, the now Blackburn boss said: “Middlesbrough are a side who are similar in personnel as they were last year, but have changed their approach this season under Woody.”
Elaborating on the approach he expects Middlesbrough to take on Saturday, Mowbray added: “Woody has played for some big clubs in his career and has played with top quality players, and he will want to play a good style of football and be attack-minded in his approach.”
💬 TM: "Woody has played for some big clubs in his career and has played with top quality players, and he will want to play a good style of football and be attack-minded in his approach."#Rovers 🔵⚪️
— Blackburn Rovers (@Rovers) August 15, 2019
It wouldn’t be a big surprise if it was an attacking Middlesbrough side that Blackburn come up against on Saturday.
Following the disappointment of that League Cup defeat to Crewe on Tuesday, Woodgate will surely have his side going all out to bounce back from that this weekend.
You also imagine, that, given the injury concerns Mowbray recently revealed his own side find themselves facing, ‘Boro may well sense an opportunity to get their first win of the campaign if they are able to put the pressure on that potentially makeshift Blackburn backline.
With the likes of Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher to lead the line, ‘Boro do have the firepower to trouble Rovers defence, whoever it may be, meaning there may be plenty of pressure on Blackburn’s own attack to help relieve the scrutiny on their teammates at the other end of the pitch.