Boro keen to keep Woody

11 September 2006 02:30
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has hinted that he will look to snap up Jonathan Woodgate on a permanent basis at the end of this season. The Real Madrid star moved to Teesside on a season-long loan deal last month and enjoyed an outstanding Boro debut on Saturday as Southgate's inconsistent side drew 1-1 at Arsenal despite having George Boateng sent off. "It was a fantastic coup for us to get him here," the Boro boss told the Evening Gazette. "We've signed a player who's not only an international, but world-class. "When I first spoke to him about coming to us it was clear that he wanted to prove himself at Real Madrid. "But Jonathan realises that for international recognition and getting his career back on track he needs to play for a full season and that's why he came to us. "Now we have to convince him by the way we play and the way we work that Middlesbrough is a fantastic place to stay. We've got six or seven months to convince him before he starts looking at the following season. "We knew that Jonathan wasn't fully match-fit, which made his performance at Arsenal all the more tremendous. "He showed great character to stay in there. He was physically shattered by the end of the game but he dug in for the team."

Source: ESA

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