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Tottenham's Woodgate: Middlesbrough exit good for everyone

Tottenham defender Jonathan Woodgate insists he left Middlesbrough on good terms in January.

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."

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Tribal Football Staff

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