Michael Woods admits captaining Hartlepool United would be a ‘huge honour’

Michael Woods in action for Hartlepool United against Chesterfield.

Michael Woods in action for Hartlepool United against Chesterfield.

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Michael Woods admits it would be a “huge honour” to be named Hartlepool United captain.

And he intends to keep leading by example, whether Ronnie Moore hands him the armband or not.

I think the people that were here last year know what the fans like and demand.

The 25-year-old midfielder is on Moore’s shortlist for the role, and recently led the side out against Gateshead – his first start for six months.

But striker Billy Paynter had it on Saturday against Chesterfield and Moore has revealed it is still up for grabs, five days before the new season starts

Whoever is named captain, Woods has called for “110 per cent” commitment from all of the players, week in, week out.

Woods told SportMail: “It would be a huge honour (to be made captain) but I don’t think the gaffer has made his mind up yet.

“I think the people that were here last year know what the fans like and demand.

“No disrespect to them, but they don’t turn up expecting to see Barcelona every week.

“But if they see people giving 110 per cent every week and sticking their head and foot in then they will back you.

“The new lads have to realise that quickly.

“Pools fans don’t expect flashy football every week, but if you put the graft in, they notice that and hopefully we can get that message across.”

Straight-talking Woods believes the team spirit among the squad is better than last year, with everyone keen to be at the club and do well.

Woods and the rest of the Pools squad who survived the summer cull have been joined by 10 new faces.

And Woods says the spirit is more harmonious this year.

Woods wasn’t naming names, but Jack Compton did have a falling out with Scott Harrison last season, with Moore famously describing him as ‘Marmite’ – either you loved him or hated him.

Compton was among the nine to leave, moving closer to his Cardiff home, signing for League Two rivals Yeovil Town.

Woods is now looking forward to the new season with the new-look Pools squad.

“They are all great lads who have come in,” added Woods.

“Last year we had a couple of lads with some issues, that were well publicised.

“Now everyone wants to be here and everyone is battling in the same direction.

“The team spirit has been great and we will stick together and continue to work hard.

“We know we have to improve though.”