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First Team News

Woods On A High After Comeback

18 September 2017

Calum Woods had plenty of superlatives to describe how he felt after making a starting XI for the first time in over a year at the weekend.

Saturday's game was the first time since May 2016 where Woods took to his warm up knowing full well he'd be taking to the field come 3pm, and the full back discussed in detail to PNE.Com his emotions when he was told he'd be replacing Darnell Fisher at right back who missed out through injury.

"It was brilliant," said Woods after his comeback from injury on Saturday. "It was great to get out there and start a game for the first time in a long time so I'm buzzing.

"I didn't know I was playing until the morning when the manager told me I'd made the team so as soon as I got my head around the fact I was playing, it was excitement and it felt good.

"I was just looking forward to it having been out for that long - I just wanted to get out there and play again as it's been that long so I was delighted to go out there and do it."

The first 45 minutes wouldn't have been the half that Woods envisaged when making his comeback with North End second best - both in the scoreline and on the pitch with the Lilywhites trailing at the break through a Maxime Colin goal.

North End took just 25 minutes of the second half to turn it around with goals from Daniel Johnson, Jordan Hugill and Tom Barkhuizen putting North End in the ascendency and Woods divulged what was said in the dressing room during the break to spark the comeback. 

"The manager told us it wasn't good enough in the first half and we knew that ourselves. We weren't at it in the first half and too be honest, whatever he did say to us worked didn't it?

"It was a great time to make my comeback. Obviously I got a little taste for it on Tuesday when I came on as a sub and then for the gaffer to actually start me and having the faith in me to play was great so I've got him to thank for that as well."

You have to rewind all the way back to the final day of the 2015/16 season to see Woods starting in a competitive fixture - and as is the nature of football - much has changed since then with just four players, including Woods in that starting line up over a year ago to the one on Saturday and Woods spoke of the competition in the squad, particularly in the full back role over the past 12 months.

"Obviously I can play both sides as well which means there's more places for me to play but it's one of them where there's good players in the team so there's stiff competition particularly in the full back positions.

"I always had faith that I'd come back as I've got good people around me. We've got good staff here, especially with the medical team with Jacko (Matt Jackson) and Lewis Hiney so they've been good and the work I've been doing has made me stronger so I just hope I can kick on from here and get stronger with each game I play.

"We've just got to look at each game as it comes and concentrate on the next game now and preparing for next Saturday now."

For more reaction from Saturday's 3-1 victory, watch Alex Neil's interview here, or hear from Daniel Johnson after scoring his second goal of the season here.

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