Ter­ri­ers sur­vival – and Liver­pool ti­tle

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Chris Dunlavy

HUD­DER­S­FIELD de­fender Calum Woods is hop­ing to make it a dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion this sea­son by keep­ing the Ter­ri­ers in the Cham­pi­onship and see­ing boy­hood club Liver­pool win the Pre­mier League.

Scouser Woods, 27, started his ca­reer in Liver­pool’s academy, com­ing through the ranks with the likes of Lee Peltier, Danny Guthrie and Jay Spear­ing.

And though he was forced to up sticks and join Scot­tish out­fit Dun­fem­line to pur­sue his dream of mak­ing it as a pro, he has never lost his af­fec­tion for the An­field club, who cur­rently sit two points clear of Chelsea at the Pre­mier League sum­mit.

“I’m a Liver­pool fan and I’m de­lighted with where they are,” said the full-back. “They’re do­ing re­ally well and I’d love to see them win the league. I think ev­ery­body would, just to see a dif­fer­ent team up there.

“I still go to a game if I get the chance. If we play on a Satur­day and they play on a Sun­day, I’ll al­ways try to get a ticket.

“I wish I could say I had some old mates on the pitch but I’m get­ting on a bit so all the lads I grew up with have gone. And to be fair, hardly any­body made it.

World class

“I played with Jay Spear­ing, Lee Peltier and a few oth­ers around that age. It was around the time Rafa Ben­itez was man­ager and there wasn’t much chance for the youth play­ers.

“They were buy­ing all sorts of world-class play­ers and it wasn’t un­til a few years later that people started get­ting a chance.

“It’s a shame it didn’t work out, but I’ve got no re­grets about leav­ing. I had to do it for my ca­reer.”

Which brought him, af­ter five years in Scot­land, to Hud­der­s­field in 2011.

A reg­u­lar un­der both Lee Clark and then Si­mon Grayson as the Ter­ri­ers won pro­mo­tion from League One in 2012, the left-back made 30 Cham­pi­onship ap­pear­ances last term and has re­cently forced his way back into the side. “I think I took to it well,” he says. “The stan­dard isn’t as good in Scot­land. There are some good play­ers and some good teams up there. The league is com­pet­i­tive. But the stan­dard isn’t con­sis­tent – that’s why a lot of people in Scot­land are try­ing to get moves to English clubs.”

Hav­ing sur­vived last sea­son, the cur­rent cam­paign un­der Mark Robins briefly promised a tilt at the play-offs.

But a nine-game win­less streak has trans­formed pro­mo­tion am­bi­tions into rel­e­ga­tion wor­ries, with just six points sep­a­rat­ing Hud­der­s­field from the bot­tom three go­ing into this weekend’s games.

“We have had a bad run over the last few games, but we’re fo­cussed,” Woods added. “We know what we have to do to get safe – we need a cou­ple of wins as soon as pos­si­ble.

“In this po­si­tion, you’re al­ways look­ing over your shoul­der, but we know a win would put those wor­ries to bed.

“We’ve been on a poor run, but we’ve beaten some good teams be­fore that. We know what we’re ca­pa­ble of.”

THE WRIGHT STUFF: Mill­wall mid­fielder Josh Wright with girl­friend Hollie Kane and, in­set, Ni­cola Robin­son

FO­CUSSED: Calum Woods

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