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.
"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."