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Woods hoping for Reds run after 44 appearances in last four campaigns

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Friday 7th February 2014
Martin Woods.

New signing Martin Woods admits he still has plenty of work to do to break into the Barnsley team despite two of his central midfield rivals being sent off at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.


The 28-year-old Scotsman signed as a free agent on Friday, the day before both Emmanuel Frimpong and Jacob Mellis received red cards at Hillsborough. Both are suspended for tomorrow's visit of Ipswich but Woods – who almost signed for the Tractor Boys before Christmas – will stay have to compete with Stephen Dawson, Paul Digby, Liam Lawrence, Bobby Hassell and Kelvin Etuhu for a place in the first team.


Woods told the Chronicle: "The two boys being sent off might make it easier for me but there's a lot of midfielders here.  I just have to train well and hopefully the manager will give me a chance. Saturday was disappointing because we scrapped well and stayed in the game for so long. You put everything into games like that and the boys were so good for so long. On Monday I picked up straight away that they were still gutted about what happened at Hillsborough. But training has been really good since then.


"I've enjoyed it so far. The lads, manager and coaching staff are all really good. There are good footballers here and we have enough quality to drive us up the league. I knew Luke Steele, Martin Cranie and Liam Lawrence already but all the other lads have been great with me as well."


After spells at Leeds, Hartlepool, Sunderland and Rotherham, Woods spent six seasons at Barnsley's local rivals Doncaster Rovers then left them last summer only to come back for five games over the Christmas period on a pay-as-you-play basis. He has played just 44 matches in the last four seasons due to injury but is now feeling fit.


He said: "The manager phoned me up on Wednesday and ask me to train then on Friday. I've come close to signing for Barnsley a couple of times. I nearly signed for them from Rotherham when Simon Davey was manager and last season they tried to take me on loan but the Doncaster manager said no. Ipswich were in for me in November but I ended up signing back with Donny.


"My family were local so it was good for me. We couldn't sort a deal out until the end of the season and I've ended up at Barnsley. I played five games for Donny and I feel reasonably good. Hopefully I can stay fit and fight for the first team. I can't wait to get going with a new club."