JONATHAN WOODGATE thinks Djed Spence’s decision to sign a new two-and-a-half year deal highlights how Middlesbrough are doing things right with the club’s youngsters.

The 19-year-old ignored interest from down south, including from Tottenham, to commit to the new contract this week having impressed in Boro’s first team for the first time this season.

Spence followed on from Marcus Tavernier, Hayden Coulson and Dael Fry all signing new terms this season and goalkeeper Aysnley Pears could be next.

Woodgate said: “We are moulding something with the young lads who sign contracts, hopefully Aynsley gets his done soon.

"Dael has signed one this season, the others have. It’s important for our club because the fans are starting to identify with the club and that is even better.”

Middlesbrough have had an inconsistent first season under Woodgate, with the side sitting seven points above the relegation zone and 14 shy of the top six.

He just wants his team to finish as strongly as they can and is keen to see them surprise promotion chasing Brentford on Saturday.

Middlesbrough will still be without Ryan Shotton, who made his comeback for the Under-23s on Sunday against Fulham, and George Friend, despite the fact both are nearing a return to action.

A behind-closed-doors friendly with Celtic has been arranged for Tuesday when both will be given some minutes.

“Ryan played against Fulham, he got 60 minutes and he will play again Friday for 90 against Blackburn,” said Woodgate.

“Hopefully George will play 45 on Friday against Blackburn then in the behind closed doors game against Celtic on Tuesday.

“Hopefully they will both play. If they come through those then it will mean ,ore problems to pick a team when they come back.

"It is going to be good to pick a team and have options. Everyone will be challenging, they will have to battle to get their place back in the team. They wouldn’t expect to walk straight back in the team.”

Middlesbrough will have Harold Moukoudi and Ravel Morrison in the squad to face Brentford on Saturday and Woodgate is excited to have them involved.

He said: “I’m really pleased with how the window went, getting two in early, it was paramount to do that, then the three lads later on we needed. We had to do a lot of work.

“Harold is a strong individual, he is massive, a big boy like Rudy Gestede. He is quick, good in the air. We noticed him that game for Ste Etienne against us in a friendly, and in previous years we have had him watched and had positive reports.

“He was a free transfer last season from Le Havre, his father didn’t want him to leave France. But when he was available it was important we got him.

“Let’s see what Rave does. Rav is a really good player, a shy lad. He was humble, shy and wanted to come to play for us. We have seen his ability, how much technical ability he has got, let’s see if we can get more out of him. He is a normal lad. I need to give him a chance. Footballers have made mistakes before, me being one, I know what it is like, let’s get behind him.”