Woodgate had earlier indicated he left Boro because he wanted success and told the Sunday Times: "I suppose you could say that, but Middlesbrough have been in a few finals in recent years, and I don't want to knock them. It's my hometown club, I wanted to go there and I really enjoyed it. They looked after me really well in the year I was injured and got me fit again and playing regularly. Gareth Southgate [Boro's manager] was brilliant, he gave me my confidence back and really helped me.
"In the end, the club accepted an offer, which made it easier to leave. To be honest, I did want to go and Gareth was prepared to let it happen because he had David Wheater coming through. Wheater is a good player [good enough to be named in Capello's 30-strong squad last Thursday] and they didn't need me with him and Robert Huth around. They could afford to take the money [£8m] for me. I wanted to push my career forward. At Middlesbrough there was no European football and I needed that to push myself on to another level.
"I didn't want to stay up there and have an easy life, and there was a danger of falling into that comfort zone. I was a local lad, so I was travelling in to work from the place I'd always called home. That was a lovely feeling, but I had to move on to get the best out of myself."