Middlesbrough host Reading at The Riverside on Saturday afternoon, where they will be hoping to build on their three match unbeaten run they enjoyed before the international break.

Here are five things to take away from Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate’s press conference today:

1. Injury updates

Boro are quite thin in terms of personnel due to a number of injuries plaguing the squad. Jonny Howson and George Friend both had minor surgeries this week and will both be missing for the weekend.

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“Hayden Coulson will be another four to six weeks” added Woodgate.

2. McNair been Boro’s best

McNair recently spoke out about football under previous boss Tony Pulis being ‘boring’, but he did say he was now enjoying football under the new gaffer.

“I’m glad McNair is enjoying it because he’s been our best player so far” said Woodgate.

“He’s full of confidence at the minute, he’s playing with a real endeavour.”

3. Every player starting with a clean slate

When he was appointed, Woodgate said every player would start afresh.

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“Marvin Johnson was out on loan at Sheffield United; the season before, he was rarely in the squad” said the Boro boss; now the winger has been a mainstay in the team.

“Hayden Coulson was out on loan, Aynsley Pears didn’t have a kick and now he’s number two (goalkeeper).”

4. Reading striker admiration

Woodgate did mention that he scouted Reading forward George Pușcaș in the summer in the under-21 European Championships in Italy.

“To bring him here we’d have had to spend a lot of money. We couldn’t do that type of deal. Reading done it, fair play. He’s a very very good player.”

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5. Giving nothing away

When asked about team news, Woodgate kept his cards close to his chest.

“I know what my team is” he said.

“I knew my team after Bristol for the Reading game.”


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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook