JONATHAN Woodgate revealed he would regularly drive back home to Middlesbrough during his time in charge of Cherries, admitting: "I found that really difficult, being away from my kids and my wife."

Having been handed a coaching role in February 2021, former Boro boss Woodgate was set to work under Jason Tindall until the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

However, two days later Tindall was sacked, with Woodgate thrust into the head coach role, initially on an interim basis.

After impressing in temporary charge, Woodgate was handed the reins on a permanent basis, on a deal until the end of the season.

Following defeat to Brentford in the play-offs, the former England and Real Madrid centre-back departed Cherries and has since been doing media work as he seeks a new job in management.

Bournemouth Echo:

Reflecting on his time on the south coast, Woodgate told the Under the Surface podcast: "I did a good job at Bournemouth. I didn’t enjoy it at the start, because Jason Tindall brought me down and two days later he gets sacked and I’m asked to step in.

"I didn’t enjoy that at all. That was difficult. I didn’t know any of the staff, so you can imagine I’ve gone down, didn’t know anyone.

"So I had to get to know them quick, I had to get to know their personalities, not just the coaches – secretaries, chefs, kitmen. Because you’ve got to manage everyone.

"So that was interesting, to be honest with you. But I enjoyed it towards the end, really loved it."

Asked how he coped with moving so far away from home, Woodgate added: "I couldn’t have gone any further away, could I!?

"They (family) came down for the first six weeks, but then I found that really difficult, being away from my kids and my wife. That was tough.

"My son would’ve been eight and my daughter would have been four. I want to spend time with my family. I don’t want to be away all the time. I really struggled with that.

"When I had a day off I’d just drive home, because I miss them that much. I love being with my kids, I really do.

"And I want to create a life, I want them to remember me and all the good things we can do together. I want to be part of their childhood growing up."

Discussing the long drive back to the north east from Dorset, Woodgate said: "It was five hours, but you’re there for a good amount of time.

"So after a game on a Saturday, I’d drive home.

"So I’d have all day Sunday and then I’d drive down Monday morning."

Asked how he dealt with spending time away from his family, Woodgate said: "It’s a tough scenario. You keep yourself busy, just keeping yourself busy all the time.

"What I did enjoy about COVID was the masks, because I could walk about Bournemouth and no-one would come over to you!

"You could have your mask on and walk around, I’m not used to doing it.

"So get your mask on and just try and keep yourself as busy as possible. Routine is key."

Woodgate was speaking on the Original Penguin X Campaign Against Living Miserably Under The Surface podcast.