MIDDLESBROUGH are still putting the finishing touches to their backroom set-up ahead of Jonathan Woodgate’s official unveiling as the club’s new head coach later today.

Woodgate’s appointment will be confirmed this morning, with the former centre-half having agreed to succeed Tony Pulis as the boss of his hometown club.

He is hoping Robbie Keane will agree to work as his assistant, with the current Republic of Ireland number two having asked for ‘two or three days’ to consider his options. Keane, whose family are all based in Ireland, will continue to work as Mick McCarthy’s assistant on the international stage if he agrees to join Woodgate at Rockliffe Park.

Leo Percovich is also expected to be part of the new backroom team, having travelled from Brazil to conduct a formal interview earlier this week, but Liam Rosenior has turned down the opportunity to work on Teesside.

Rosenior was approached about a possible coaching role at the start of this week, but has opted to remain in his current position as the Under-23s boss at Brighton. While Rosenior was initially interested in a potential move to the North-East, he has been persuaded to stay at Brighton by the Seagulls’ new head coach Graham Potter.

Confirmation of Woodgate’s appointment will end the uncertainty that has followed Pulis’ departure, and enable Boro to step up their preparations for next season.

The 39-year-old was one of a number of candidates approached by Boro chairman Steve Gibson, but was always regarded as the front-runner for the role.

While he does not boast any frontline managerial experience, he assumed a senior coaching role under Pulis last season. Pulis highlighted his credentials during a post-season debrief with Gibson, and Woodgate is understood to have performed impressively when he was formally interviewed for the manager’s job.

He will have to move quickly once his appointment is rubber-stamped, with next season’s Championship fixtures due to be released on Thursday.

Boro are yet to announce a single pre-season game, while Woodgate will also have to make some early recruitment decisions.

He will have to decide whether to offer Stewart Downing a new contract, with the former England winger attracting strong interest from both Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland.

He will also have to plug a number of gaps in the current squad, with Dimi Konstantopoulos, Andy Lonergan, John Obi Mikel, Mo Besic and Jordan Hugill all having left since the end of last season.

Martin Braithwaite is attracting strong interest from Spain, with Leganes and Girona interested in a permanent deal, while Sheffiled United have been linked with a possible move for Britt Assombalonga.

Meanwhile, Woodgate has been urged to give Paddy McNair more game time by one of the Northern Irishman's international team-mates.

Stuart Dallas watched McNair score Northern Ireland's winner in Belarus on Tuesday, and cannot understand why the versatile midfielder was restricted to just seven Championship starts last season.

“I’m delighted for Paddy," said Dallas, who plays his club football with Leeds. "Paddy has been excellent. He’s had a tough season at Middlesbrough.

"He should be playing more regularly in my eyes, but he’s proved what a really good player he is."