Gary O'Neil Backing Woodgate
By fmttm
Tuesday 05 Nov 2019 15:05:00
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Former Boro midfielder Gary O'Neil gave his backing for present head coach Jonathan Woodgate to be able to turn around Boro's nose dive towards relegation. Gary O'Neil was speaking exclusively to 888sport about Boro, Woodgate and looking back to Gareth Southgate's first managerial role. Sadly it all ended in relegation, something the midfielder knows only too well.

 

O'Neil knows what it is like to experience relegation at Boro but feels we must stick behind the coach as the best placed to get us out of this mess. I have taken some quotes below from the full interview below but you can read the whole thing at  888sport

 

Boro need to give Woodgate time or else it’s back to square one.

GON: I think they need to give him more time. They’ve obviously decided that he is the man for them and even though he’s very young managerial-wise he did have the experience of working under Tony Pulis last year. I just think that clubs need to be very careful with always changing. There has obviously been a huge cut in the budget so Jonathan Woodgate is not working with the same budget others had in previous years and with that has come a drop-off in performances and points return. I hope that Middlesbrough give him longer.

It would be devastating if they were to go down and they clearly need to get themselves out of danger but if he can do his bit and keep them safe they need to then give him longer because he’s doing well there with the younger lads. You can’t have a 14 week cycle of ripping things up and starting again because in another 14 weeks what do you do?

There are two sides to this. Woodgate has to do his part and produce the best that he can with what he’s got while the club needs to give him time. Relegation though is unthinkable for Middlesbrough and you could never imagine them in League One so let’s hope he can turn it around.

Gary O’Neil exclusive: Woodgate the leader was always destined to coach.

GON: He was a leader in the dressing room and hugely respected. He was a fantastic player who’d had a fantastic career so you were drawn to him and respected that he’d played for Real Madrid. You could tell he was going to go on and manage: he was always studying things and talk intelligently about the games coming up. He always had a tactical view on them. So it’s no surprise to me at all that he went down that road and he got a very big job as his first appointment. That can be tricky. Even Gareth Southgate who is now the England manager found it tricky when he got the Boro job straight after playing.

Gary O’Neil exclusive: Gareth Southgate’s decency is his biggest strength.

GON: The way Gareth goes about things is very simple. He’s a really decent guy and he doesn’t try to be anything other than that. You can see that in his management. And that’s why he’s done so well: because he’s just stuck to what he is and who he is. He is intelligent and he’s honest and he will do anything for his group of players. His players respect that.

When it went the way it did at Middlesbrough if someone had asked me if he could be England manager in eight or nine years you’d think probably not because that’s a big turn-around. But the quality of the young players coming through has lent itself to someone who knows the youth from his time with the under 21s. Football has changed so much nowadays and the average ages of teams are getting younger and younger and Gareth just found himself at that perfect point where England needed to go in a new direction and he found himself guiding the young players coming through. It was a perfect storm and he’s done a fantastic job. I’m really pleased for him.

Gary O’Neil exclusive: A relegation fight will be tough for Boro in an unforgiving Championship.

GON: It is tricky because sides are just very unforgiving and there is no such thing as an easy game. They fight to the end. They’re all played at 100% and Middlesbrough need to dig themselves out of this because there is no looking at fixtures and thinking ‘we should get three points from that one’ in the Championship. But in Woodgate and Robbie Keane they have some very experienced guys who have been through a lot in their playing career so they’ll know what the lads are going through and how to help them. I’m sure they’ll be okay. They have January so they might be able to add a bit here and there.


Read the full 888sport interview with Gary O’Neil here

 



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