Mowbray coy on Woodgate link
Tony Mowbray insisted he had no plans to sign Jonathan Woodgate but did not rule out a loan move.
Last Updated: 28/12/10 7:15pm
Tony Mowbray insisted he had no plans to sign Jonathan Woodgate but did not rule out a loan move following Middlesbrough's 3-1 victory over Preston.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has revealed that he is prepared to send the defender out on a temporary basis as he recovers from a long spell on the sidelines.
Having spent time at The Riverside earlier in his career, reports have suggested he could return to his former club on loan when the transfer window reopens.
Mowbray has played down the speculation, insisting he has not considered such a swoop and saying Woodgate's arrival would create problems for his current central defenders.
However, the Boro boss recognises the 30-year-old's connection with Boro and is prepared to wait and see what happens in the New Year.
"It's news to me - we will wait and see what January brings," Mowbray said.
"Anybody who takes Woodgate would expect him to play and whilst (David) Wheater and (Matthew) Bates are here it would be difficult for me to bring in a loan player and disappoint one of our own players. Loans are always difficult.
"It's not something at the moment that I'm working on but I know Woodgate was a big success as a player here."
Woodgate would be seen as an ideal replacement for David Wheater, who added to his growing stock with the third goal in Boro's win at Deepdale.
The 23-year-old will be out of contract at the end of the season and Mowbray did little to quash reports of a January move away from the club.
"Wheater is on everybody's lips at the moment. He scored again and it was another super performance from the young man," he added.
"Wheater is too valuable an asset for us to let him walk away on a free in summer.
"We are in a situation which isn't ideal because you can see the connection he has with our supporters.
"Let's wait and see what January brings."
Leroy Lita scored Boro's other two goals after Billy Jones had put Preston in front and Mowbray was satisfied with the overall performance.
"I'm pleased with the win of course, I think there was enough good play in there to warrant it," said Mowbray.
"We must give them a lot of credit; they didn't look like a team that was bottom of the league and they played some nice fluent football and created some chances.
"But when the game went on they had to chase it and they looked more vulnerable and disheartened and we could have scored a few more at the end.
"It was a professional performance from us in a game we needed to win, we came here and did the job."
Preston will start 2011 rooted to the foot of the Championship and manager Darren Ferguson admits some of the blame must lie at his door.
"We have got to try and take positives out of the game and there were many in the first 35 minutes but we can't concede goals like we did," said Ferguson.
"I cope OK with the pressure - I get on with it. It is the most difficult period I've gone through as manager and it has been a very difficult year. We haven't done nearly as well as I thought we could when I came through the door.
"As manager I do have to take responsibility."