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Boro pledge for Woodgate
19 Apr 2007 - 08:14:31
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate is hoping the promise of wholesale changes in the summer will persuade Jonathan Woodgate to sign a permanent contract with the club.
The England defender is coming towards the end of his season-long loan stay on Teesside from Real Madrid.
Southgate has made no secret of his desire to sign the former Leeds and Newcastle centre-half on a permanent basis in the summer and has revealed it is now up to Woodgate to decide where his future lies in the off-season.
But the Boro boss is hoping the promise of a summer overhaul of the Riverside playing squad will further sell the club to the on-loan stopper, who was outstanding in Wednesday's 2-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield.
"We can only do what we have been doing all season with him," said Southgate.
"He was excellent against Liverpool and he has enjoyed working with us.
"But he knows the situation, we are not one of the top four and we do not have the resources to compete with those teams.
"But there will be a lot of change at Middlesbrough in the summer and we hope he wants to be a part of that.
"We speak all the time and he needs time to think about things.
"At the moment we are in the middle of a busy period of matches and everyone wants to focus on that, the other side of things will take care of itself."