JONATHAN WOODGATE was bursting with pride after being appointed as Middlesbrough’s new head coach, and on his first day in charge of his hometown team vowed to implement a style of football that will bring back fans to the Riverside.

His appointment was finally confirmed yesterday morning and hours later the beaming 39-year-old addressed the media when he talked of wanting to set high standards, of producing a passing team and a desire to give teenagers from the club’s academy a chance.

During his days as a defender that saw him play for Leeds United, Real Madrid and Newcastle among others, Woodgate played under managers such as Sir Bobby Robson, Terry Venables and Harry Redknapp, and he cited them all as influential in his approach to management, while he was also had words of praise for Aitor Karanka and his predecessor Tony Pulis.

Woodgate has replaced Pulis on a three-year deal, with his coaching team comprising ex-Tottenham team-mate Robbie Keane as well as Leo Percovich and Danny Coyne.

“I’m proud as punch, I’m delighted,” said Woodgate, who is originally from Nunthorpe and attended his first Middlesbrough match as a five-year-old.

“When I talk about family it’s my dad I mean really, he’d be proud. It’s my son’s birthday so I will remember this day as long as I live.

“He’s a Boro fan but he’s everyone’s fan because he wants every kit going! But he is a Boro fan and hopefully he will be like me and love the club like I do.”

Reaction among Middlesbrough supporters to Woodgate succeeding Pulis has been positive but not without dissension, particularly on social media.

“I don’t mind them having a view, but it’s character assassination,” he said.

“You know what society is like now and again, but the hardcore fans who do back you and I’ve had a lot of lovely messages from fans who do back you.

“What’s impressed me is that it’s been the whole club messaging me, canteen ladies, receptionists, they’re all over the moon and I’m really delighted.”

Entertaining football with talented teenagers given an opportunity to shine would help to win over any doubters, and that is certainly Woodgate’s vision.

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on the young lads coming through, but we have players who can play in this first team,” he said.

“Firstly, I want to pass the ball. We want to get fans on the edge of their seat. We want as many fans back in the stadium as we can by playing attacking, exciting football with high pressure, pressing in different areas.

“Pass the ball, keep the ball, I want players to run with the ball, it's important that when you lose the ball you win it back as quickly as possible.

“Obviously don't go gung-ho, there are times to press and to know when to press. That's my philosophy, that's what I want to do. I want to win games scoring goals. If you look at this league now, you go up by scoring goals. If you don't, you won't go up.

“If you look at my backroom team: Leo, Danny and Robbie, we'll have that in abundance, especially with Robbie by my side.”

As well being part of Boro’s coaching staff, Keane will continue to act as assistant to Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy while Percovich has resigned as No. 2 at Brazilian side Fluminense to make a return to Teesside having previously been part of Karanka’s staff.

Woodgate added: “We interviewed numerous people – not just the ones that have been mentioned in the public, we interviewed a lot more than that. But I always wanted the three men I’ve got now, without a doubt.

“The whole club are going to be over the moon that I put that coaching staff together. And the fans. The fans are going to be ecstatic, or at least they should be. If I was a fan, I’d be delighted at that coaching staff. I think it’s really good.”

It was during Karanka’s time as Boro boss, Woodgate revealed, that he first decided he would like to become a manager, admitting that being a boss was not something he considered when he was first making a name for himself as a young defender at Elland Road under David O’Leary.

He explained: “It was under Aitor Karanka when I really wanted to become a manager because I saw how organised he was and his standards and structure to his game.

“When I was 19 I didn’t really think about being a manager, but if you ask any 19-year-old they’d probably say the same.

“David O’Leary was in exactly the same position as I am now. 40-year-old, he put young players in - what did we do, sink or swim? We swam.

“That’s what’ll happen at this club. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to put them in willy nilly, there’ll be a time to put them in. But I will 100 per cent put a young player in if he is better than the senior player, it’s as simple as that.

“What have I learned from other managers? Bobby Robson? Man-management. Terry Venables, Harry Redknapp.

And if you look at the teams I’ve played in they’ve all been quiet attacking. At Spurs with Robbie it was an attacking team, we’d sometimes defend two on two at the back. It was the same in the Leeds days with Lucas Radebe and Rio Ferdinand, with full-backs pushing on.

“The managers I’ve worked under are all helped in different ways, and good.”

Woodgate’s playing career was plagued by injury with two years on the books at Real Madrid noted for his unavailability, however, he says being among that calibre of player at the Bernabeu was a learning period and it demonstrated to him the value of maintaining high standards.

“Going to Real Madrid as a boy from Middlesbrough is unbelievable” he said. “I had a year there when I did a lot of thinking and I probably grew up there as a man when I went to that country. I had nobody to fall back on, just me.

“I was injured for a long period of time, but you learn every day from the bigger players at that club.

“Zidane, Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Raul, David Beckham, they were all humble guys, but they do things right, their standards were bang on and that’s what this club will get back to.”