Woodgate expects Boro improvement

Date published: Thursday 27th August 2015 3:08

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06: Brendan Rodgers manager of Celtic gives his team instructions during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and Celtic FC at Etihad Stadium on December 6, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Last season’s beaten Championship play-off finalists have won just one of their first four league games despite spending heavily during the summer on the likes of Stewart Downing, David Nugent and Cristhian Stuani.

Woodgate, who made his first appearance of the campaign in Tuesday’s night’s Capital One Cup victory at Burton, knows that is simply not good enough if they are to achieve their dreams, but is confident there is much more to come.

He told the Evening Gazette: “The start has been bang average over the four league games so far, if I’m honest. If we want to achieve our ambitions, then we need to do better that we had done so far, that’s for sure.

“But we have got new lads bedding in, so it is natural that things haven’t quite clicked yet – and to be honest, it was the same last season. In fact, I think we were probably a bit worse off at this stage last year.

“But at this point, you don’t really get a true reflection of how it will shape up because all the new players are just settling in. And that’s not just at Boro.”

Woodgate has seen at close hand how head coach Aitor Karanka has re-shaped the squad and introduced his methods since taking over in November 2013, and urged patience as the Spaniard attempts to continue on an upward curve.

He added: “Lets not forget what we’ve done since the manager came in, the steady, sustained improvement we’ve made. Remember, we were just above the relegation zone when he arrived and we almost made the play-offs in that first season and last year we did make the play-offs, got to the final and we went to Wembley.

“Now we need to build on that and keep on improving. We know that. We are working hard to make that happen.

“But it’s hard. This is not an easy league. No-one is going to roll over for us. We have to work at it and keep improving and we need the fans to be patient.”

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