According to the Teesside Gazette, former Newcastle defender Jonathan Woodgate is set to be announced as the new manager at Middlesbrough.

It will cap a good month for ex-Toon players stepping into management roles, with Mike Williamson being named as player-boss of Gateshead and Lee Clark taking over at Blyth Spartans.

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Woodgate was brilliant for Newcastle in his 28 appearances, firmly establishing himself as a fans favourite, before signing for Spanish giants Real Madrid.

In all the years I have been watching Newcastle, I cannot remember seeing a centre-back so comfortable on the ball.

With the current trend of playing the ball out from the back, he was – in many ways – ahead of his time, with him rarely lumping it forward aimlessly.

Having finished his playing career in 2016, after a second spell at Middlesbrough, he was always considered favourite to replace Tony Pulis, having spent the past season as one of his assistants.

Williamson was named Gateshead boss this week, which signals a new era at the International Stadium, following their demotion from the National League for “multiple breaches of league rules”.

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Willo is remembered by most as the player that John Carver incredibly publicly accused of getting himself intentionally sent off in a game at Leicester.

With the club now under new ownership, The Heed will hope to draw a line in the sand, and start afresh with Williamson seen as the man to bring them straight back up.

 

Lee Clark has had a few spells managing teams in the English and Scottish leagues, and now finds himself in charge at Blyth.

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It is something of a coup for the National League North side, with the former Newcastle midfielder being talked about as one of the best young managers in the game, during his time in the dugout at Huddersfield.

He never quite fulfilled that potential, and after leaving his most recent managerial role at Bury in 2017, it was the Northumberland side who were able to tempt him back into the game.

The trio can all succeed in their managerial roles

All three clubs that have employed the former Magpies have made shrewd appointments.

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Clark is capable of re-establishing Blyth to the top tier of non-league football, and maybe beyond.

Williamson will be able to lead by example in his player-manager role, and will command respect from his team. Starting in the division below the National League will be a good thing for him, and give him a year to cut his management teeth.

Woodgate will be a bit of an unknown quantity at the Riverside, but if his managerial skills are anywhere near as good as his footballing ones, he will do well in a role that has required stability for some time.

And lest we forget, he played under one of the greatest managers of all at Newcastle, who he surely will have learned some things from.

We would like to wish all of them luck for the coming season.

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