Middlesbrough's Jonathan Woodgate: Norwich are favourites

Jonathan Woodgate
Middlesbrough captain Jonathan Woodgate has had spells with Leeds, Newcastle, Tottenham, Stoke and Real Madrid

Middlesbrough captain Jonathan Woodgate has said his side are the underdogs going into Monday's Championship play-off final against Norwich City.

The Teesiders reached the final with a 5-1 aggregate victory over Brentford in the semi-final.

Despite beating Norwich twice in the league this season, Woodgate, 35, said it is not inevitable Boro would come out on top a third time at Wembley.

"They're going to be favourites, let's be honest," he told BBC Tees.

"Every single one of them played in the Premier League last year, more or less.

"The onus is on them. The pressure will be on them more because they're bigger players than us in my opinion."

Promotion to the Premier League is worth an estimated £120m to Middlesbrough, while Norwich would stand to profit by around £80m due to the loss of parachute payments in the Championship.

But despite the financial rewards, Woodgate said the team is only motivated by the chance to play top-flight football.

"For the players it's not about the money, it's about playing at the top level," he added.

"It feels like we've come to the end of a cup competition - it's a big final, it's massive for us.

"Everyone says it's the biggest thing outside of winning a competition.

"If we can do it, it'll be huge for the club and for the town."

Boro's Wembley woes
Middlesbrough have made four appearances at Wembley but are yet to win a game at the stadium

Woodgate also revealed that he has not considered whether he will continue playing next season.

The centre-back has made 387 appearances for six clubs in a career blighted by hamstring and thigh injuries and is out of contract in June.

"I'll decide when I'm in the sun somewhere speaking with my family and then I'll decide what I'm going to do,

"I'll have a chat with the manager and see what happens from there.

"It's not about me at the moment, it's about the club and it's about the biggest game for this club for a long, long time."

Middlesbrough Brentford semi-final
Middlesbrough's win over Brentford sparked a pitch invasion at the Riverside.

Top Stories