YOUNG Doncaster Rovers’ keeper Gary Woods is keen to prove to manager Dean Saunders that he has a safe pair of hands.
The 20 year-old was named the club’s No 1 keeper at the start of the season by the then boss Sean O’Driscoll after grabbing his chance to impress when Neil Sullivan was injured in the second half of last season.
But he couldn’t even make the bench for the last home game against Leeds United following the arrival of former England keeper Chris Kirkland on loan.
He is currently on the sidelines after picking up a shoulder injury ten days ago.
“I fell awkwardly when diving in training,” he told The Star.
“Had I not picked up the injury I could have been involved at Blackpool last Tuesday as a result of Chris going back to Wigan with a back problem” he said, “Fortunately my injury isn’t as bad as first thought and I hope to be back playing again soon.”
Woods started the season in the team but was relegated to the bench for the game at Reading, which proved to be O’Driscoll’s last match in charge.
“I was disappointed because personally I didn’t think that I’d done anything wrong apart from the goal against Forest,” he said. “I think it was one of those situations where the team was losing games and the manager decided to go for experience.
“The new manager came in before the next game and he played the majority of the same players for his first game in charge. We won that and picked up seven points from our first three games so he wasn’t going to change things.
“The manager brought Chris in on loan and Neil dropped to the bench and I wasn’t even in the squad, It’s just me and Sully again when I’m fit and hopefully I’ll be pushing him to try and get my shirt back.
“I know that it won’t be easy because even though we’ve lost the last couple of games, Neil has still played well. But you’d expect him to still make saves; he still looks after himself so it’s no surprise that when he’s called upon he does well.
“We get on and we work well together in training but obviously we are both competing for the same shirt. But whoever gets in the team we don’t fall out about it.
Woods is anxious to see Rovers climb out of the relegation zone,
He says:“ I think we’ve got enough quality and obviously the manager is adding players, to climb the league.”