Huth ready to make impact
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Robert Huth is being tipped to make a big impact on Middlesbrough's end of season run-in.
German star Robert Huth is being tipped to make a big impact on Middlesbrough's end of season run-in.
Huth has had an injury plagued first season at The Riverside, but has impressed hugely when he has played.
The former Chelsea man will return to the starting XI this weekend against Watford due to Emanuel Pogatetz's suspension.
"Rob will come in against Watford. He has waited very patiently for his chance," revealed Jonathan Woodgate - who himself is only rated as '60/40' to make the game.
"Obviously Manny has been outstanding this season for us and after his suspension he will come back in.
"But there is competition for places and it is stronger than ever again. It gives everybody a kick up the backside, which is good.
"I know what it's like to get injury after injury, it's like a snowball effect. But Rob has stayed strong.
"He is a good lad and he is a nice lad around the dressing room.
"Hopefully he comes in and does well. He certainly won't let anybody down because in addition to being a nice lad, he's a good player as well."
Woodgate is hopeful Boro can bounce back from their poor showing at West Ham at the weekend.
"We weren't at the races from the first whistle at West Ham last week and we know that's not good enough," he told The Evening Gazette.
"They wanted it more than us all over the pitch. Every single one of them. But we are professional footballers and our attitude has to be much better than that.
"It should be right every game but for some reason for a lot of our players at West Ham, including myself, it wasn't.
"We still need as many points as we can get. We have seven games left and it's a chance for us to put things right.
"We can see the league table but we are not playing to try to keep away from the relegation zone, we are looking to climb the table.
"We need to get as high as we can get but on performances like the one we gave at West Ham we will produce nothing."
Meanwhile, the club have confirmed they have disciplined captain George Boateng for comments made about Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo.
The two sides have met three times this season - and each time Ronaldo has received plaudits and criticism in equal measure, with Boro accusing the Portuguese starlet of diving.
Boateng told Ronaldo that he would be in for 'reprisals' if he kept up his 'antics' - but Boro did not take too kindly to the comments.
"I do not think the comments George made were correct and we have dealt with that," said manager Gareth Southgate.
"Obviously, I prefer to deal with those things internally than have the Football Association deal with them.
"It is something we have spoken about and it has been dealt with."