Jonathan Woodgate officially marked his Boro return this week with a sterling performance in the Capital One Cup win at Burton Albion - and the experienced defender says he will be ready and waiting to step into the breach whenever he gets the call.

"I'll be called upon when the manager wants me," said Woodgate.

"But I'll give it my all if I get the opportunity as I did last season when I came in in spells in tough games and I didn't let anyone down so he knows I'll work as hard as I can for the team and give my all. 

"I found it tiring on Tuesday. It was my first game since last season and I had no pre-season, but the only way I'll get fit is through playing games and Tuesday night was an opportunity to play and I really enjoyed it.

"It was hard work and I was breathing a bit, I got cramp but that's normal for me. It had to go to extra time and I was a little bit tired to be honest so I had to come off."

The 36-year-old played a key role as Boro dug deep to see off the challenge of the League One side. Two Cristhian Stuani goals settled matters as Aitor Karanka's side won through 2-1 to set up a third round meeting with Wolves.

"It was tough going to be fair," said Woodgate. "We knew it was going to be hard game but it was important that we won.

"We struggled against Bristol City last Saturday and it wasn't the result we were looking for so it was important to bounce back to keep that spirit. We had to graft but how many chances did they have compared to us? Now we move on to Sheffield Wednesday.

"Every competition is important and we want to do as well as we can - it's hard to win them and we know that. We had great cup runs last season and it was a good experience with the boys. Hopefully we can continue into the next round. It's good to keep the winning spirit going.

"It was important that we went to Burton and got a result. We went behind and came back to get a result and how many times have we done that in the last year? So we've showed a bit of grit, steel and determination."