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McGurk’s praise for Middlesbrough foes
DAVID McGURK has thanked Middlesbrough for naming a strong squad for the York City centre-back’s benefit match tomorrow,.
Former Leeds United , Real Madrid and England defender Jonathan Woodgate, who recently rejoined the Championship outfit from Stoke, will be in action along with fellow summer recruits Mustapha Carayol and Argentinian Emmanuel Ledesma.
Others confirmed for the Bootham Crescent clash are £3 million defender Justin Hoyte, ex-Celtic striker Scott McDonald and Ben Gibson, who ended last season on loan with the Minstermen.
Boro boss Tony Mowbray has honoured an agreement to send a strong squad for McGurk and City despite his club also taking on League One Carlisle tomorrow, sending a mixture of first-team players to both matches.
On tomorrow’s visiting line-up, McGurk said: “Ben Gibson will be involved and there are also going to be four or five players you would expect to be in Middlesbrough’s first team so I am delighted with that. I’m thankful to everybody at Middlesbrough for the side because it means more fans will come along than if they were just fielding their development squad.
“Jonathan Woodgate is their biggest signing this summer and he’s coming, which is great. He’s probably one of the best centre-backs in Middlesbrough’s history.
“He’s played for Real Madrid and you don’t get the chance to do that unless you are a very good player.”
Tomorrow’s match should also represent the first chance City fans will have had to see McGurk in action since New Year’s Day, with a succession of calf, throat and knee injuries having kept him sidelined prior to a brief outing during Tuesday’s 2-2 behind-closed-doors clash at Leicester.
The ex-Darlington defender is hoping, however, to be in contention for a recall to the first-team squad for the start of City’s League Two campaign at home to Wycombe in a fortnight’s time.
He added: “It was a bonus to be involved on Tuesday because I had targeted the Sunderland game next week to come back in really.
“Hopefully, now, I can get a bit longer tomorrow although I can’t see me playing more than a half.
“My body was in shock after my first training session on Monday and the Doncaster game next Saturday might come too soon for me to be in the frame but I’m hopeful that I could be back in time for the first League game on August 18. But I know that I’ve been out for a long time and might have to wait for a chance that I’ll then have to take to keep the shirt.”
Middlesbrough squad: Ripley, Burgess, Carayol, Edwards, Gibson, Halliday, Hoyte, Ledesma, McDonald, Main, Park, Reach, Smallwood, R Williams, L Williams, Woodgate, Zammama.