Leeds United: Old boy Woodgate braced for tough encounter

Jonathan Woodgate.

Jonathan Woodgate.

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A summer of ‘bad publicity’ will motivate Leeds United to turn Middlesbrough over at Elland Road tomorrow, according to former Leeds defender Jonathan Woodgate.

The ex-England international says United will be wary of starting out “on the wrong foot” during their first home match of the Championship season. But Woodgate echoed confident noises among Middlesbrough’s players amid expectation on Teesside that Aitor Karanka’s squad can reach the play-offs.

Boro started their season with a 2-0 win at home to Birmingham while Leeds lost by the same scoreline away to Millwall.

United are emerging from a hard close-season in which dramatic changes have been made to the club’s squad and infrastructure.

Woodgate said: “It’s their first home game after a lot of bad publicity so they’ll want to put on a show. They don’t want to start off on the wrong foot under the new chairman (Massimo Cellino).

“They’ll be flying, make no mistake, but we’re right up for it. We’re right up for this season. I think we’ve got a chance this year – a good chance.”