MIDDLESBROUGH only have a short list of contenders for the manager’s job and Jonathan Woodgate remains firmly in the frame to succeed Tony Pulis.

The Boro first team coach has been interviewed for the job, along with others, and his passion for the game and views have impressed chairman Steve Gibson.

Whether that is enough to earn him the job remains to be seen, with a long list of candidates still expressing interest in the post even if they have not met Gibson or his fellow decision makers.

Two more names have emerged in the last 24 hours. Brighton Under-23s coach Liam Rosenior, aged just 34, is a surprise name to have been mentioned in the media, while Portuguese coach Jorge Simao is the other.

It has been suggested that former Boavista boss Simao has been interviewed for the post, although that is not believed to be the case.

In many respects, though, he would fit in with some of the ideas Middlesbrough are looking to adopt, including developing a philosophy and possibly working to a sporting/technical director model.

But sources close to Middlesbrough insist that neither Simao nor Rosenior have been interviewed for the post, and the club are doing very well to keep any alternatives to Woodgate quiet.

Former Fulham and Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic continues to be in the frame, although the financial package required to do such a deal would not necessarily suit Middlesbrough having missed out on promotion again.

Middlesbrough have been linked with a variety of others, including Daniel Stendel, Nigel Pearson, Chris Hughton and Danny Cowley.

Woodgate, however, still looks a much stronger candidate for the Championship and to work inn line with ideas in mind to change the way Boro operates as a whole.

There are reservations among supporters about handing Woodgate the job given his links already to the town and the club, where he has played, coached and worked under Pulis.

But there is a tendency these days to hand young coaches opportunities and Middlesbrough will be weighing up success stories such as Lee Bowyer and Frank Lampard as decent examples of how things worked last season.

Bowyer, a former team-mate of Woodgate’s at Leeds, delivered Charlton to promotion to the Championship and has been linked with other jobs as a result. Lampard steered the Rams to the play-off final, only to lose Aston Villa.