Woody thrilled at return
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jonathan Woodgate was delighted to be named in the England squad to face Spain.
Jonathan Woodgate was delighted to be named in the England squad for next week's friendly with Spain.
The Middlesbrough defender has not featured for his country since March 2004, but has won his first call-up under Steve McClaren.
The 27-year-old, who is on loan at Middlesbrough from Real Madrid, has impressed this season with a number of eye-catching performances and he is happy he has been rewarded with a return to the England fold.
"I am pleased to be back involved after all this time," Woodgate told the club's official website.
"It feels good to be selected because I have been waiting to be selected for a few years.
"I am ready and available to play if selected.
"Whether I would get a call-up or not really had not entered my mind because I have just been concentrating on playing well for Middlesbrough, week in and week out.
"It's all about consistency."
Woodgate has seen his England chances hampered by a series of injuries over the last few years, but the former Leeds man insists he never gave up hope of making a return to the national scene.
"I never stopped believing I would win a recall," added Woodgate. "I kept the belief that I would get picked again if I got a run of games.
"I know there was talk of me getting selected before Christmas but I wasn't ready for it then. I am now.
"I am playing two and three games a week without any problems and my fitness is getting better all the time.
"I do not feel I am playing better then I have done in the past when I was at Leeds, Newcastle and Real Madrid, but it is all about getting a run of games together, and it has been great to do that with my home-town club.
"I am looking forward to it."