Woody - I made right decision
Jonathan Woodgate says he made the right decision moving to Spurs ahead of Newcastle in January.
By Steve Pass
Last Updated: 29/03/08 12:32pm
When Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate warms-up for the game against Newcastle on Sunday, he may reflect that he could have been wearing a different strip for the game.
For the in-demand England defender was courted by both teams in the January transfer window but chose the London club ahead of the North-East side.
The 28-year-old had previously spent 18 months at St James Park before moving to Real Madrid and then onto Middlesbrough.
But he decided that he needed a move south at this stage of his career, despite his love of the fans at Newcastle and the persuasive powers of Magpies boss Kevin Keegan.
He told the Daily Mail: "I just wanted a totally new challenge.
"If I had signed for Newcastle, I would have just been in the same surroundings. I didn't want to get stale.
"I am 28 now. Newcastle are going to be a good side in a few years but things can move faster at Spurs. I know I have made the right decision."
His decision has been vindicated as he has already lifted silverware with Spurs after his extra-time header defeated Chelsea in the dramatic Carling Cup final.
And he is full of praise for his new boss Juande Ramos.
"Ramos's preparation is brilliant," said Woodgate. "He wants you to attack. He wants us to score as many goals as we can.
"When we played Slavia Prague away (in the Uefa Cup), it was drummed into us that we had to win 3-0. 'Win this 3-0 or 4-0. If you don't, it is not a good result' and I'm thinking: 'Oh my God, this geezer doesn't mess about'."
For his next challenge, Woodgate is set to line-up against his former Madrid team-mate Michael Owen in Sunday's game at White Hart Lane.
He added: "Against Michael, I will be concentrating for 90 minutes, he is a devil in the 18-yard box. You've got to keep an eye on wherever he goes."