Frustrations will be running high at Middlesbrough as they continue to free fall and potentially miss out on a place in the play-offs at the end of the season. Fans would be forgiven if they had forgotten what winning a match was like as it has been five Championship fixtures since that last happened.
To say many of them at the Riverside Stadium are running out of patience with Tony Pulis could be considered putting it mildly, as many have not really taken to him during his tenure with the club. However, it appears the owner and chairman, Steve Gibson, could be prepared to make a change at the helm in the summer – albeit reluctantly.
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According to a report by The Sun, Jonathan Woodgate is being lined up as a potential replacement, should Pulis be given his marching orders.
The former Boro defender is currently working at the club as a first-team coach, however, he could be promoted to the head of the table as Gibson looks to work with a tight budget.
It is claimed Woodgate would be given the time to get things right, whilst fans would be prepared to back him – something that Pulis has not received recently.
Do the benefits outweigh the costs? There are two sides to how well appointing Woodgate could work out for Middlesbrough and both outcomes must be seriously considered if they were to replace Pulis with him.
Firstly, the biggest thing that will ring alarm bells for some is the lack of experience that he has of managing a club, let alone one the size of Boro. The expectations at the Riverside Stadium are huge and many expect their club to be in contention of returning to the Premier League in the very near future. That pressure alone could be enough to break their former hero before his career in the dugout even gets started.
However, as Derby County have shown with Frank Lampard, inexperience is not necessarily a bad thing and it could potentially work in their favour.
Woodgate has first-hand knowledge of knowing what it takes and what it means to be at Middlesbrough, which could set him up perfectly for success. Having had a number of spells at the club during his playing career, he has had a back seat in the backroom staff and has been learning his craft under an experienced manager in Pulis.
With Gibson looking to keep things cheap and cheerful, the ex-defender is unlikely to ask for significant demands regarding financial funding, whilst he would also be a cheap alternative to other managers that they may look to shortlist.
Middlesbrough fans, would you be in favour of Woodgate being named manager and replacing Pulis at the end of the season if you are not promoted? Join in with the discussion below by sharing your thoughts with us.
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