Hartlepool midfielder Woods keen to repay Moore’s faith

Michael Woods in action against Shrewsbury Town.
Michael Woods in action against Shrewsbury Town.
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MICHAEL Woods is looking to repay the faith shown in him by Ronnie Moore after making an impression on his third manager of the season.

The 24-year-old signed for Hartlepool United in the summer when Colin Cooper gave the former Chelsea and Leeds United youth another chance at professional football after he slipped out of the league, turning out for Harrogate Town last season.

Woods has been in and out of the side this season but apart from missing one game through suspension and another through injury he has started every match under Moore.

Moore praised the attack-minded midfielder following the 2-0 win over Cheltenham and Woods admits working under him has been a “breath of fresh air”.

The former Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham United chief replaced Paul Murray, who was sacked in December after the Blyth Spartans FA Cup defeat.

“I’ve played under three managers now this season and we all have to prove ourselves all the time,” said Woods.

“If you aren’t performing then you aren’t in the side.

“The gaffer has proved that and look at the substitutions he made (against Shrewsbury) – if something needs to be done then he will make the decision.

“The gaffer is different class and he has been brilliant.

“He is a breath of fresh air for me.”

Moore has paired York-born Woods alongside Reading loanee Aaron Tshibola and the former £5m rated midfielder is pleased with their blossoming partnership.

The duo excelled against Cheltenham but struggled to have the same impact in the 3-0 defeat at Shrewsbury Town.

“I’ve enjoyed it with Tish and like to think I am repaying the manager’s faith,” said Woods.

“I also enjoy playing centre midfield and I think it suits my game but it was tough at times against Shrewsbury, who had three in there.

“We were trying to get on to the strikers in the second-half to drop in and help us out but they aren’t keen on it!

“But the gaffer has showed faith in me and Tish and against Cheltenham we worked really well together but maybe not so against Shrewsbury.”

Defeat against the Shrews left Pools nine points adrift of safety.

Next up is a massive trip to relegation rivals Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Saturday and Woods is looking to build some momentum.

He added: “The manager has reiterated he wants more players to help us and if we can do that and get a few wins then it becomes squeaky bum time for the teams above us.

“We had chances on the break in the second half at Shrewsbury, which we didn’t take, and with a bit more pace and invention up front we could have caused problems.

“This weekend against Tranmere Rovers is a massive game.

“It’s all about momentum but it is fine margins,” added Woods, who was much sought after as a youngster and played for Leeds United and Chelsea as a teenager.

Within a year of joining Chelsea, Woods had seriously injured his knee before dislocating his ankle on his return and went onto to have spells at Notts County, Yeovil, Doncaster and Harrogate.