JONATHAN WOODGATE admits lessons learned as a youngster coming through at Leeds United will be key to his own fledgling managerial career.
I want us to attack teams and press teams. And really get about them.Jonathan Woodgate
The former England international makes his bow in charge of Middlesbrough tonight at newly-promoted Luton Town.
It is a big step up for someone who served on the coaching staff under Tony Pulis and Steve Agnew but Woodgate is ready.
“I have worked for over 20 managers,” he said. “Some fantastic managers. If you look at David O’Leary, he was in a similar situation to me.
“He was 39-years-old and got the job.
“He decided to bring a lot of young players in.
“He did a fantastic job and showed how brave he was as a manager.”
Woodgate played under inspirational figures such as Sir Bobby Robson, Terry Venables and Harry Redknapp during a career that began as a teenager in the Leeds Academy.
He added: “Paul Hart and Eddie Gray, and what they instilled in me from a young age as a Leeds United schoolboy.
“The amount of pressure they put on to win games and have that winning mentality, even in training, week in and week out.”
Boro fans have welcomed Woodgate’s appointment after growing increasingly disillusioned under Pulis.
“I want us to attack teams and press teams,” added the new Riverside chief. “And really get about them.”
Darren Randolph and George Friend should be available after missing part of pre-season, Dael Fry (hamstring) is still out.
Last six games: Luton Town Middlesbrough
Referee: O Langford (West Midlands).
Last time: Luton Town 5 Middlesbrough 1; October 15, 1994; Division One.