Woodgate explains surprise decision drop keeper

Woodgate explains surprise decision drop keeper

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate has revealed why he dropped first choice stopper Aynsley Pears to the bench in Saturday’s victory at Charlton.

Woodgate had made a suprising decision to start new signing Dejan Stojanovic at The Valley despite not giving any hint.

The Slovenian keeper helped Boro secure a much needed 1-0 win, with Paddy McNair scoring the game’s only goal in the first half.

Stojanovic didn’t have much to do in the game as Boro successfully limited their hosts to half chances.

After the game, Woodgate was asked his decision to bench Pears and he replied in typical fashion.

The former England international admitted that despite Pears’ impressive performances, Stojanovic had caught his eye in training.

”I think Aynsley has done unbelievably well but I just thought with 10 games to go Dejan has played a lot of competitive games and has done a lot better in training recently,” he said.

Woodgate also believes that Pears has progressed well this season with his development apparent for everyone to see.

“From where Aynsley has come from last year playing in non league for Gateshead, he’s done absolutely unbelievable.”

It will be interesting to see how Woodgate handles the goalkeeping situation in the coming matches.

Pears’ contract expires at the end of the season and a role on the bench could see the youngster take his talents to another club following his breakthrough season.

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