Jonathan Woodgate has been made to revitalise Middlesbrough, however they find themselves. What has gone wrong?
We asked Teesside Live journalist Dominic Shaw, EFL pundit Don Goodman about the Sky Sports EFL Podcast along with Boro fanzine (Fly Me To the Moon) author Robert Nichols their thoughts on the situation in the Riverside Stadium…
Dominic Shaw: There was an acceptance from the off that this was likely to become a period of patience and change was demanded, but nobody expected to be in this place at this point.
The Achilles heel from last year is still there. Woodgate wants to change the manner Boro play and proceed away from the pragmatism of Tony Pulis however I do not believe he expected it to be quite difficult to do that as it has proved.
Don Goodman: Confidence is on the ground. They have wanted to perform this more expansive attack-minded soccer this season and so far they have struggled to convert that into positive results.
Last year they were quite strong willed, but its all about them finding a way. So as to accomplish that theyve got to discover a way. It is also about finding the result in any which way you can, although it is all about getting the balance right.
Robert Nichols: Many, including Tony Pulis, point the finger and squarely in the club gambling the whole parachute payments on a fast return to the Premier League. It has been a challenging season for Boro fans. There might have been concerns over the playing style under Pulis but we pushed not threatening relegation.
Jonathan Woodgate may like to assert that the table is located and true we havent had the greatest of luck however our failings are simple for all to view. We struggle to score goals, a classic problem that has resurfaced big style. Pair that up with an inability to keep clean sheets you have a recipe for disaster.
DS: The group is unbalanced and thin. They really could have done through the door in the summertime with a couple of extra players. Woodgate shot over a squad which dropped Martin Braithwaite, Stewart Downing, Aden Flint and John Obi Mikel, Whilst loan duo Jordan Hugill and Mo Besic returned into their clubs.
Boro had to cut on prices and those players were substituted by three kids who spent at League One. This is not to say hes blameless, although It was likely to be a tricky task for Woodgate. Hell hold up his hands and say he has made errors but his players have been now playing and performances of late are improved.
DG: If you have a take a look at that team player for player, surely the core 15-16 players in the group, they have top quality at this level inside that and a great deal of expertise, so its a bit baffling at the way its gone disastrously wrong.
RN: Convenience is low and there are additional storm clouds in the horizon just as almost half the staff are out of contract and will be provided reduced provisions of stay. Not great for morale.
Jonathan Woodgate earned three rookies out of League One to tear it up. The new assaulting; harrying design has floundered. The playing team that was wafer-thin has been reduced by injuries to the stage where we had to remember a loan striker Tyrone ONeill from non-league Darlington. Times are tough.
DS: He will. Nobody expected Boro to be in this place at this stage and the winless run needs to be stopped. But there is no doubt to the gamers from speaking that Woodgate has them onto his side. Performances have improved after the showings against Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday. But Boro – Woodgate – want results. That is the currency of this game. That is known by him.
He will assert his side must begin putting the ball at the back of the net. I know that sounds ridiculously simplistic and there are other things to deal with but Boro are currently missing opportunities – sitters – every week. The change into your system has functioned and Boro appear balanced and comfortable. But improved screens need to start coughing up points and wins.
DG: They might not have been expecting to challenge in the exact surface of this Championship, but they wouldnt have been hoping to happen to be at a dogfight down at the base. If they are going to get out of the itll be in your home where they have to pick up points that are greater.
There are a number of big games but they have got Hull, Barnsley and Charlton coming up in the Riverside. They will have to turn it into a fortress.
RN: As you could imagine Boro lovers are losing patience yet there is also a sense of not wanting axe another manager prior to Christmas and to repeat mistakes.
We would prefer a time of growth and stability but we cannot risk also the idea of joining Sunderland at League One and the prospect of relegation. We just have to begin winning and these next two back to back home games can be make or break.

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