MIDDLESBROUGH manager Chris Wilder is certain to wield the axe next month after confirming the club have identified which players they want to offload in the January transfer window.

The squad has been under the microscope since Wilder took over four weeks ago with the new boss promising a thorough inspection of all aspects of the club, from the playing staff to other departments.

The former Sheffield United boss even admitted that he will even consider recalling players who are out on loan. Nathan Wood recently returned from Hibernian following an unsuccessful spell in Scotland where he made just one appearance.

Now that the 54-year-old has had a number of weeks to assess his playing staff, he and the recruitment staff have identified which players could be heading for the exit door in order to facilitate incomings as part of a tough approach to improve the football club.

When asked by the Northern Echo whether decisions had been made on which players the club wants to offload, Wilder responded: “Yeah we have.

“You have an idea when you come in of who will fit or maybe not. Some people will flourish and some people might struggle and that isn’t personal. That’s part and parcel of a manager going in. They are the difficult decisions but they are professional decisions.

“People understand that and accept that. That’s part and parcel of being a pro and part and parcel of my job. I’ve got to do that.

“I’ll do that. There’s no doubt about it. It’s quite daft because I’m quite soft. If you ask my family, I’m a bit of a pushover but when it comes to my professional life, those decisions will be made in a heartbeat for the benefit of the football club.

“Not the benefit of me, not the benefit of somebody else but for benefit of the football club for the sole intention of making this football club better.”

Wilder’s ruthless approach is part of the sweeping change that is currently encircling the football club with a new playing style and outlook on the pitch along with a streamlined effective work ethic off it.

The Boro boss admitted that he has no concerns over the ruthless nature of his approach and that he is doing what is necessary as part of his job in transforming Boro into promotion contenders.

Wilder added: “If we want to progress and get to where we want to be, we’ve got to move forward. We might move forward sometimes off the back of a not so good performance and get a result. We might not get a result on Saturday and we might play better than we did last Saturday (against Swansea).

“There is different ways of moving forward but there has to be that ruthlessness in terms of decision making and you have to make them.

“I’ve got no issue in making them. That’s not being arrogant. I make it because I’m employed to make tough decisions and the owner will expect me to do it. He’s had to make tough decisions to get to where he wants to be in his professional life. We’ll all have to do that for the benefit of the football club.”

Former Rotherham United and Brentford manager Andy Scott is being linked with a move to the club to become their new Chief Scout following his departure from the Head of Recruitment role at Swansea City.