Former Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate has rejoined the Premier League club as first-team coach, the northeast side announced Tuesday. Boro parted company with former manager Aitor Karanka earlier this month, with his assistant Steve Agnew promoted as they try to avoid relegation from English football’s lucrative top flight.
Woodgate joins a new-look backroom staff that also includes former Scotland striker Joe Jordan. “Jonathan is someone who we know very well, and who in turn knows this club inside and out,” Agnew told Middlesbrough’s website.
“He brings a wealth of experience from the highest level of the game, and he’s a fantastic character. “We’re delighted to have him on board.” Woodgate, an ex-England international, had two spells at boyhood club Boro in a career that also saw him play for Leeds, Newcastle, Real Madrid and Tottenham during a distinguished playing career. Woodgate, 37, announced his retirement shortly after Middlesbrough won promotion to the Premier League in May 2016.
He has returned to the club before their key clash against relegation rivals Swansea on Sunday, which will be Agnew’s second match in charge.
Boro are currently five points from safety, but do have a game in hand on Swansea, with the Welsh club in the 17th place that is immediately above the relegation zone.