Speaking in his post-match interview with BBC Radio Tees, Middlesbrough Head Coach Jonathan Woodgate discussed Djed Spence and Ben Liddle’s inclusion in the starting eleven against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday evening.
Middlesbrough crashed out of the FA Cup in the third round at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side, with the score finishing 2-1 to the hosts. George Saville’s gave Woodgate’s side hope with just under 10 minutes to go, but it proved to be only a consolation.
The teamsheet threw up a few surprises with 21-year old Ben Liddle being handed his senior debut for his hometown club alongside Lewis Wing and Adam Clayton in midfield.
Woodgate was asked about Liddle in his post-match interview and said there was no issue in giving him his first start in a Boro shirt away at the home of last season’s Champions League finalists.
“I thought he did OK,” he said.
“I had no problems putting Ben in, not a problem at all.
“Look, you take a chance don’t you? Look at what Djed [Spence] has done, what Aynsley [Pears] has done, what Hayden [Coulson] has done.
“You have to keep it going and give these players a chance.”
Djed Spence has been Boro’s standout performer in recent weeks and the game against Spurs was no different. However, Woodgate admitted that he would’ve rested him if he had an alternative right wing-back.
“In an ideal world I wouldn’t have played him but I didn’t have a right wing-back,” said the Boro boss.
“You could see he was tight in his hamstrings at half-time, that’s why I brought him off.”