Rotherham United: How Wood badgered boss Warne for a place in Millers team

Richard Wood
Richard Wood

Warrior centre-half Richard Wood is hoping his days of knocking on the manager’s door are over after helping Rotherham United to their first away victory in 17 months.

Wood found himself out of the side at the start of the League One season but his recall coincided with the Millers ending their 27-match winless run on the road with a 1-0 triumph at Portsmouth on Sunday.

Paul Warne

Paul Warne

Boss Paul Warne was full of praise for Wood’s typically-committed performance and, barring injury, the 32-year-old can look forward to keeping his place for this Saturday’s home clash with Bury.

“I’ve told the gaffer a fair few times I think I should be in the team,” Wood admitted. “I have been in speaking to him.

“I’ve had to be patient. I respect his decision. He doesn’t need to say much to me. I’m fine. I know the game and how it works.

“The gaffer knows what he’s going to get from me. Hopefully, I’m a calming influence. I head it and kick it! My experience is key. I’ve been saying that to him since pre-season!”

Jon Taylor scores at Portsmouth

Jon Taylor scores at Portsmouth

Warne paired Wood with Michael Ihiekwe at Fratton Park and both men impressed as Semi Ajayi, who has been at fault for three goals Rotherham have conceded since opening day, dropped to the bench.

“It would be stupid of me not to say how well Woody played,” the manager said. “I don’t like to call him ‘the old man’ but in this group he is. He’s a bit of a leader in there and I think the team have missed that of late.

“The good thing about Woody is that he’s already lost his face - he’s not worried about losing his teeth and his nose. He’s broken his nose so many times that it’s almost straight again!

“He’s like that. And Michael alongside him ... we got him from Tranmere Rovers (National League) and I think he’s used to the competitive side of football.”

Rotherham took a first-half lead through Jon Taylor against Pompey and put up such stiff resistance in the second half that the home side could find no way through the Millers rearguard

Wood added: “I’m happy playing alongside Michael. He’s vocal, like me, which is good. We’ll see how that develops.”

A Millers reserve side beat Mansfield Town 1-0 at Roundwood earlier today, with striker David Ball scoring a second-half penalty.

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