Jonathan Woodgate has insisted that he is in no hurry to retire from playing after beginning preparations for a career in coaching.
The Middlesbrough captain is committed to helping the club achieve success in the Championship next season, but he admits that turning to management when he hangs up his boots is part of his future plans.
"I've done one of my badges already, but I'm in no rush," Woodgate told the Evening Gazette. "I want to play as long as I can basically because I love it.
"Once you stop you can't go back and there's always time for coaching later on.
"At the minute I want to keep on pushing to get a starting place in the team – but if my time comes to an end, which it will at some point in the future, I'll look at that then."
The 34-year-old has one year remaining on his current deal.