Jonathan Woodgate aims bizarre dig at Newcastle United
Jonathan Woodgate believes Middlesbrough’s recent history is better than Newcastle’s – and that it will take time for Boro’s new signings to settle in
The Teessiders signed three new outfield players in the summer, Marcus Browne, Anfernee Dijksteel and Marc Bola, who are all under the age of 23.
Before moving to the Riverside, the trio had amassed just one Championship appearance between them, and then came under scrutiny following Boro’s Carabao Cup exit to League Two side Crewe.
But, despite a slow start, Woodgate is confident the club’s new additions will be successful at Boro.
When asked if he thought full-backs Dijksteel and Bola had endured a dodgy start, the former Newcastle defender replied: "I wouldn't say dodgy, it was difficult for them at first but those two will improve, they will get better that is guaranteed. I'm seeing it in training.
“They will be a success at this club if they keep on going and are keen, which they are.
“They listen to everything I want them to do they look me in the eye, no looking at the floor.
“They have got better, and Bola is the same age as (Hayden) Coulson, 21, they are two young full-backs who have never played in this league before, they will get better.”
Dijksteel and Bola both played regularly for Charlton and Blackpool respectively in League One last season, yet Woodgate believes the step up is significant.
“It's a big step up for them to play for this football club,” added Boro’s head coach.
“This football club is a big football club, I know we’ve only been in the Premier League once in 10 years, but we’ve been to a Uefa Cup final, we won the Carling Cup, Newcastle haven’t . Our history is better than theirs in recent times. It’s a big club.
“It’ll take time, that’s the vision of the football club, improving these players, gone are the days where we’re going to spend £5-10million on players.
“I know we’re a big enough club but money doesn’t always grow on trees, you have to graft for it.”