Richard Wood talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Rotherham United defender Richard Wood insists he and his Millers teammates can take confidence from the resolute display at Blackpool which helped them to a win on the road at Bloomfield Road.
The former Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic defender was part of the back three which boss Paul Warne deployed in the first half, before taking up position at the heart of the rearguard after a shift in formation after the break.
Wood was left pleased with the defensive performance that the Millers turned in on Saturday which only saw their defence breached by Kelvin Mellor’s wonderstrike and is hopeful that his side can use the win over the Seasiders as a platform to build on coming into a double header at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
“We were very pleased because it's been long overdue,” Wood told www.themillers.co.uk.
“Defensively it worked really well. We limited them to one shot which they scored a worldie from.
“Everything defensively was good but something needed to change just because we hadn't won in a few games. The Gaffer changed the formation and I think we limited them to hardly anything so in that respect it did work well.
“It's good and we just need to carry that on now. I'm hoping that this little blip that we've had is behind us and we can take confidence from that away performance and repeat it.
“It's a welcome two home games just before Christmas and if we can win and do well in them before the festive period it will set us up nicely in the league.”
The 32-year-old believes the Millers are well-poised in the Sky Bet League One table as the halfway mark approaches and is keen to add maximum points from the next two outings in front of their home fans to their tally for 2017/18.
“We had dropped off but if we can get six points from the next two games it will kick us on and set us up nicely going into the New Year,” Wood explained.
“That's what we're aiming for, to be in touching distance of the Play-offs or even in them come the New Year, which is pretty much the half way point.
“That would be great and it would be considered a good half season so far if that's the case.
“I think we will be and you can go on a run and climb the table. Barnsley did it the other year and they came from all the way at the bottom of the league to go on and get promoted. If you go on a good run anything can happen and we go into Christmas now full of confidence after the weekend's result.”
Meanwhile, Wood was full of praise for fellow centre back Semi Ajayi, who has performed admirably since his return to the side in recent weeks and admits he is keen to use his experience to ensure he maintains his good vein of form.
“He's still a young lad as well and people are going to have dips and runs of form,” he continued.
“He's got all the attributes to be a great player and if he can do it more consistently, which he's doing at the moment, then I can't see why he won't be a regular in the team every week.
“He's quick, he's strong and I'm just trying to help him along and use my experience with him to push him on and make him a better player.
“I'm trying to keep his confidence up and when he does thing well, encourage him. On the flip side when he makes mistakes I'm trying to keep his head up and get him to blank it out and concentrate on the good things he's doing.”