Whether he’s attacking a corner, going into a tackle or trying to win a header, Richard Wood is someone who throws himself into everything.
So, when First Team Manager Paul Warne, as well as his Assistant Manager Richie Barker and First Team Coach Matt Hamshaw were all absent from training today, the Millers skipper did not shy away from the challenge.
With Warne, Barker and Hamshaw all self-isolating following a Covid-19 outbreak in the first team squad, Wood picked up the baton alongside Goalkeeper Coach Andy Warrington and fellow senior pro Shaun MacDonald.
In the first training session at Roundwood since 4th March, Wood and the team have the unenviable task of preparing to face promotion-chasing Watford at AESSEAL New York Stadium tomorrow, with just one full day to prepare.
Wood though insisted that the challenge of going from skipper to stand-in coach, was one he relished- epitomising Warne's 'next man up' mantra, not just on-the-field but off it as well.
“I really enjoyed it, when we found out that we could train today and saw that some of the staff were not in, I offered to help out,” Wood told www.themillers.co.uk.
“Me and Macca (Shaun MacDonald) put on some passing drills and I took the defenders for a bit of work and we had a possession-goal game as well. I felt it all went well, it was nice for me to do some coaching because I’m doing my UEFA B License at the moment, so to get some experience was great."
“It was something a little bit different to be able to do and I really enjoyed it, I’m just pleased that the lads listened to me. I think they were all happy to be back in training. It was good to do it and I think me, Macca and Andy (Warrington) did a good job in the gaffer’s absence.”
The Millers were last in action just under a fortnight ago, when Freddie Ladapo struck deep into injury time to give his side a historic victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Following such a big result, Warne’s men would have no doubt been raring to go and hoping to build up some momentum.
Wood missed the victory over the Owls and the three games previous to that through a combination of illness and injury, stressing that this period has been tough for the entire squad.
“It has been difficult to be shut down and for everything to stop. I wasn’t involved in the Sheffield Wednesday game, but I watched it on TV and would have loved to have been a part of it.
“You roll into the next game after a win like that and it gives you a real chance to build momentum, that has been cut short a little bit which is a shame.
"In football you get obstacles in your way all the time and it is how you come through them."
“It just didn’t feel normal. It isn’t normal for me to have that many days off and not be able to do anything, but hopefully it is behind us all now. Everything ground to a halt for me over the last month, I got a little injury just before the Nottingham Forest game which kept me out for a few days.
“I’d got myself in contention for the Sheffield Wednesday game, but obviously I then had to self-isolate. It makes it even more exciting for me to be back, because it feels like it has been that long since I played.
“Everybody is buzzing to be back, you can’t ask for more than being able to play football and come into work at this moment in time. It will be difficult tomorrow, but through adversity there is already somebody that comes up trumps, we’re all looking forward to the game, that is for sure.”