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It`s the Wood Bench for Woodgate

Jonathan Woodgate has been told to focus on his fitness rather than getting excited about a possible return to European football, especially as he might not even be played anyway.

We face Hajduk Split from Croatia in the opening Europa League clash at the Britannia next Thursday, and with the little knowledge I do have of the club (courtesy of Google), it will be a tough match against a top side.

Therefore the glass boned, tissue muscled former England centre-back will not be thrown into the mix of the first team as early as he may have expected.

The 31-year-old only made just four appearances in two seasons at Spurs due to groin problems, which has proved to be a bit of a ball-ache for the long haired defender. With that record, Tony Pulis doesn`t want to take any chances, however he does have plans to include him in the squad for less important fixtures; either tonight`s friendly with Brentford or tomorrow`s with Aldershot.

Speaking of Woodgate`s enthusiasm, Pulis said: "He wants to get going. He`s had two or three good days` training but he has still got some strength work to do.

"It will be interesting to see how he does because we are hoping he will be a good, experienced player for us."

Jon doesn`t have a good track record really, so it`s totally understandable that Tony and the club want to make sure he`s fully fit before they let have his potentially career riving playing time. He`ll be disappointed yeah, but it`ll make him more determined to get in tip-top shape, however if Pulis doesn`t take the risk with him soon, it`ll have an adverse affect on his motivation.

The Europa League kicks off quite early in the season, so Woodgate shouldn`t be too knocked back if he isn`t played. Perhaps he should concentrate on finding regular feet in the Premier League first, before he thinks of other competitions.

Touch wood nothing happens...




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The Journalist

Writer: Ryan Kalisz Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday July 22 2011

Time: 7:23PM

Your Comments

50% of voters say that he'll be injured in 5 weeks, with 23% saying he'll be out in 5 seconds... sod touching, I'm faceplanting wood at the moment
Ryan Kalisz
What are Stoke thinking taking a career-crock onboard? Just seen on sky sports news that he still is not playing!!Surely this guy is becoming untouchable! From start to finish how many games has he played for the clubs he`s been at?? Amazing
DaveyParkender
We've taken him because we've lost our back up centre back Abdoulaye Faye(who imo was well past it anyway) and Woodgate is a proven defender, we only need him to play 5-10 games at the most in the season as Faye did last year, he should be up to that. He's been top class whenever he's played and added to the pay as you play deal, it's potentially a very clever signing. So it's not that startling really, he's the perfect replacement for Faye, nothing more nothing less!
Tom_Mckeon
 

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