HARTLEPOOL United’s young players have a point to prove – that’s the verdict of new boy Michael Woods.
The former Leeds United and Chelsea player is focused on nailing down a place in Colin Cooper’s starting XI, and hopes he and others in the squad can have a big part to play this season.
“Admittedly we don’t have the biggest squad here,” he said. “But there is a little bit of competition here.
“You get a sense in training that there is one or two places up for grabs, so my first aim is to try to get in the first team here and stay there.
“There are quite a few young players here with big potential, but it’s down to us to fulfil that now I think.
“I’ve just turned 24 and might not have played as many games as maybe I should have due to fitness and injury, but I had a relatively good season last season, and now I’m looking to build on that and do well at Hartlepool United.”
Woods’ was one of the players who watched the video nasty of Hartlepool’s 6-2 defeat to Port Vale in the Capital One Cup.
And the midfielder feels that is exactly what was required after the display at Vale Park.
“I think it was important that we came in on Wednesday and looked at the game,” he said.
“We spent a couple of hours going through things and some things were said, which I think need saying.
“But the next day we were in training and the session was brilliant.
“It was sharp it was lively, and I think the lads are really wanting to put things right.”
Woods is looking forward to making his league debut for Pools against Bury today and says he has been impressed by the club so far.
“I’ve had a little taste of the atmosphere and buzz in the pre-season friendlies,” he added. “Now I can’t wait for the first home league game.
“I was surprised and impressed when the gaffer told me about how many season tickets the club had sold and hopefully we can give those fans plenty to shout about against Bury.”
The game against the Shakers gives Pools a chance to put two defeats in two games behind them and Woods feels they are capable of doing that.
He said: “Hopefully, we can gain some momentum for what we all hope is going to be a good season for Hartlepool United.”
– GARY FOSTER