DONCASTER ROVERS: Gary Woods looks to future

Gary Woods: 'I've got another year left on my contract so hopefully it will be  onwards and upwards for me'.             Picture: chris lawton
Gary Woods: 'I've got another year left on my contract so hopefully it will be onwards and upwards for me'. Picture: chris lawton

GOALKEEPER Gary Woods accepts Doncaster Rovers do not deserve to retain their Championship status.

Dean Saunders’ troops have now gone more than three months without a win on home soil following their 2-1 loss to Burnley on Easter Monday. You have to go back to January 2 for the last time Rovers secured three points in front of their supporters when they defeated Barnsley 2-0.

The defeat against Burnley leaves Rovers without a victory in nine matches and 11 points from safety at the foot of the table with only four fixtures left. Their four-stay in the second tier of English football will end if they fail to beat fellow strugglers Portsmouth on Saturday. The fight for survival is out of their hands anyway as Bristol City, in 21st position, require just three points from their final four matches to send Rovers down.

Woods, aged 21, acknowledges their form at the Keepmoat Stadium has been below-par since the turn of the year.

He said: “At the end of the day, we have not been good enough home or away.

“We have been unlucky at times but we can’t use that as an excuse.”

However, Woods, a graduate of the club’s youth system, refuses to concede defeat in the battle to beat the drop.

He insisted: “If we get 12 points and nobody else wins, we stay in the league.

“We are looking for four wins. Nothing has really changed. We are still going to have to win all our games.

“It is not over until we are mathematically down and relegation is next to our name.”

Along with James O’Connor, George Friend and Chris Brown, Woods is contracted to the Keepmoat club until 2013. He hopes, going forward, he will be a big part of Saunders long-term plans.

“I would like to think so,” he said. “It depends what Dean thinks of me.

“I’ve still got another year so hopefully we can move onwards and upwards. I think we will do well if we do go down.”

With Carl Ikeme ruled out with a toe problem, Saunders handed Woods his first start since December 31. The 21-year-old pulled off a series of fine saves in the second half to repay the faith shown in him by Saunders.

“We went a goal down to a great strike,” said “We were disappointed to be 1-0 down at half time as there was not much in the game. We got back into it and I thought we were on top from that point.

“We gave away the penalty and it knocked the stuffing out of us. We are all disappointed because at 1-1 we thought we could go on and win the game.

Tickets for Rovers crunch game with Portsmouth have been reduced to £15 adults and £1 for under 16s.