Southgate wary of Woody

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate is hoping Jonathan Woodgate returns from international duty unscathed.

Woodgate is being tipped to start for England against Spain next week after being recalled to the squad for the first time since March 2004.

Southgate is wary of the unlucky Woodgate picking up an injury while away with England as the former Leeds man has been blighted by injuries over the last few years.

"Jonathan will have to be careful with his training as much as anything because normally in the early part of the week, he would not do very much training with us," said Southgate.

"I am sure the medical team there will keep a close eye on him, but I wish him well.

"He was a bit tight after the game, but I know he wants to be involved and he wants to play, and he is very proud to get the call-up."

Meanwhile, Southgate has singled out Julio Arca for special praise for playing an important role in Boro's recent resurgence.

"Julio has been terrific," added Southgate. "That has been one of the turning points for us - his performances in the middle of midfield.

"He is so composed on the ball, he does excellent work in both penalty boxes. He has been absolutely top drawer for us."