MARTIN BRAITHWAITE will be given an opportunity to resurrect his Middlesbrough career, with Jonathan Woodgate insisting everyone will start “with a clean slate” when pre-season training begins next month.

Having been confirmed as Boro’s new head coach last Friday, Woodgate will spend his first full week in the role stepping up preparations for next season.

He will make changes to his squad this summer, with Steve Gibson having pledged to back his new boss in the transfer market when he sat alongside him at Rockliffe Park last week.

However, while players will inevitably leave before the transfer window closes in August, Woodgate is adamant he will not be writing anyone off before he has had the opportunity to work with them.

Braithwaite spent last season on loan at Spanish side Leganes, and has spoken of his desire to make a permanent move to La Liga. Leganes and Girona have expressed an interest in signing the Denmark international, who has two years of his current contract on Teesside remaining, but Woodgate will be instructing him to return to pre-season training as normal.

Like the rest of Boro’s internationals, Braithwaite will not be expected to report for the start of pre-season, but once he returns, he will be given an opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the first-team squad.

“It’s a clean slate,” said Woodgate. “Obviously, I’ll have a view when I see the players. I know what I like, and what I want in a player.

“We’ll see what happens, and I’ll obviously take the advice of my coaches on board. They are important people to me, and I value their opinion.

“A few of the players will have to come in later because they’re on international duty, but once everyone’s in, we’ll have a look.”

Boro have lost a number of senior players from last season, with Dimi Konstantopoulos, John Obi Mikel and Stewart Downing having left as free agents, and Mo Besic and Jordan Hugill having returned to their permanent employers after their loan deals expired.

With Grant Leadbitter having left in January, Boro’s midfield options are seriously depleted, and one of Woodgate’s early priorities will be to identify potential targets to pursue this summer.

Unlike Tony Pulis, who effectively dictated Boro’s transfer policy by himself, Woodgate has been employed as a head coach, and while he will have a major input into recruitment decisions, responsibility will be shared.

Robbie Keane, Leo Percovich and Danny Coyne will be involved in transfer matters, while Neil Bausor and Adrian Bevington will assume more control than they had under Pulis.

Ultimately, Gibson will make the final decision, but Boro’s new backroom structure represents a clear attempt to create some joined-up thinking so that a change of head coach does not immediately result in a radical overhaul of the squad.

“I’m a head coach, I’m not a manager,” said Woodgate. “You can’t go from one system to another, where one manager spends £20m, another spends £30m, and they don’t like the players. You’re just going to be spending a lot of money, and it’s not going to work.

“We will have a committee between us. The coaching staff will have a big say in it, myself, Adrian, Neil and the chairman will sit down and decide what’s right for the football club – if they’re the right age, do they fit the mould, do they fit the way we’re going to play? Then, we’ll come to a decision all together. That’s important moving forward.”

As well as looking to recruit players on a permanent basis, Woodgate will also be hoping to exploit opportunities in the loan market. The former centre-half boasts links at a number of English clubs – most notably, Liverpool, where he briefly worked as a European scout – while Percovich’s South American links could also prove valuable.

“We’ve got contacts at all different clubs,” said Woodgate. “In Brazil, we’ve got contacts all over the world. We’ve all played for some big clubs, and we want to tap into that market.

“But again, they’ve got to be the right player for the club. They’ve got to be the right age for the club, and like I’ve said before, we can improve those players. We’ll have to sit down with those clubs and tell them what we want to do, how we want to play.”