HEAD coach Jonathan Woodgate revealed how he had already done his homework on Cameron Carter-Vickers, having been “close” to taking him at Middlesbrough.

Tottenham loanee Carter-Vickers has enjoyed a resurgence under new boss Woodgate during his time at the Dorset club.

Plagued by fitness issues and an ankle problem having signed on a season-long loan in October, Carter-Vickers featured just three times under previous boss Jason Tindall.

The United States international has played every minute since Woodgate took charge and has helped Cherries to four clean sheets in their past seven games.

And Woodgate revealed he had an interest in the 23-year-old before being sacked at Boro in June last year.

Asked by the Daily Echo about working with Carter-Vickers, Woodgate said: “I’ve been really impressed.

“I’ve done a lot of work on Cameron last year because I was close to taking him when I was at Middlesbrough – so I knew all about him.

“Then in lockdown, I’d done a lot more work on him as well. I spoke to a lot of people for him.

“We were going to look at him for this season, if I’d have still been in charge at Middlesbrough. He was heavily on my list.

“Okay, he’s not the tallest but he’s a very, very good defender. His leap is good, he’s quick, he’s decent enough on the ball for me.

“What he does need to improve on is in the opposition box, scoring more goals, but I like him as a player, I like his personality.

“He wants to defend first and I think that’s important in this league.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with him. He hasn’t missed a minute and we’ve kept four clean sheets with him in the team.”

Carter-Vickers is expected to keep his place when Cherries make the trip to Bristol City in the Championship tomorrow (7.45pm).

He came through the youth ranks at Spurs but has had loan spells at the likes of Sheffield United, Ipswich, Swansea, Stoke and Luton before his latest move to Cherries.

And Woodgate believes the array of options available to him at centre-half has made the loan recruit up his game.

“It’s competition for places in that area of the pitch with Meps (Chris Mepham), Cookie (Steve Cook), Cameron and Lloydy (Lloyd Kelly), who can play there,” said the Cherries head coach.

“Also, that’s probably what is making Cam play so well, because he’s got competition behind him for his place.

“Long may it continue because he’s doing a really good job.”