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Woodgate explains reasoning behind dropping into Championship

Jonathan Woodgate has admitted only hometown club Middlesbrough could have persuaded him to drop out of the Premier League after his release by Stoke. The 32-year-old former England international signed a three-year deal to return to Boro last week after being sounded out by chairman Steve Gibson.

He told the club's official website: "I took a call out of the blue from Steve, who basically said, 'Do you fancy it?', and obviously I do.

"I had to explain that I had a few options available to me with a couple of Premier League clubs showing interest in me, and there was also the chance of extending my stay at Stoke.

"But coming back to Boro was a big pull. It's fair to say that I would not have dropped down to the Championship for any other club."

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Dave Williams

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