The Football League Paper - - TFLP - By Chris Bai­ley

HE’S BEEN de­scribed by boss Dean Smith as a per­fec­tion­ist, but Ryan Woods says no-one can af­ford to cut cor­ners at Brent­ford.

Though para­chute pay­ments cush­ioned the falls of New­cas­tle United, Nor­wich and As­ton Villa from the Pre­mier League, Brent­ford and oth­ers have en­sured their land­ing has been far from smooth.

The Bees shocked fan­cied Brighton away from home and snatched a point at un­der­whelm­ing Villa, be­fore smash­ing five past Pre­ston to un­der­line their su­perb form.

With Hud­der­s­field and Barns­ley also mak­ing noises in York­shire, any talk of a pro­mo­tion can­ter for the big-spenders has sub­sided and, ac­cord­ing to Woods, money is no sub­sti­tute for work ethic.

“It’s down to hard work in train­ing and do­ing the ex­tra things that maybe the big teams in our divi­sion aren’t both­er­ing with,” said Woods.

“We do lots of stuff on our for­ma­tion and shape and ev­ery­thing we’ve done so far we’ve man­aged to take into the games.

“Though we don’t have as much money as a New­cas­tle or Nor­wich, we have that team spirit in a very good group of promis­ing young play­ers. I’m sure one day many of them will play in the Pre­mier League.

“And why not with Brent­ford? The way we are per­form­ing there’s no rea­son we can’t be up there at the end of the sea­son.”


At the heart of mid­field – and most of their su­perb dis­plays – has been the worka­holic Woods who, with vir­tu­ally his first touch in a Bees shirt a year ago, made a crit­i­cal er­ror that led to a Leeds goal.

It may have seemed like the ac­tions of a young­ster out of his depth but Woods will tell you that could not be fur­ther from the truth.

“I’ve been work­ing my socks off,” he said. “Not for one mo­ment did I think it wasn’t go­ing to hap­pen for me in the Cham­pi­onship.”

The 22-year-old had played only a hand­ful of League One games be­fore be­ing snapped up from Shrewsbury last year.

“One bad mo­ment (like the Leeds er­ror) is al­ways bound to hap­pen. I learned from that ex­pe­ri­ence quickly and you have to. With the pace of the game in the Cham­pi­onship, you have to be strong.”

One man whose strength of char­ac­ter can­not be un­der­stated is Scott Ho­gan af­ter a knee in­jury robbed the striker of the first two years of his Brent­ford ca­reer.

Hav­ing warmed up with seven goals in Brent­ford’s fi­nal seven games last sea­son, Ho­gan has added an­other six this term.

“I’m sure if you asked him he’d prob­a­bly tell you he is dis­ap­pointed that he hasn’t scored more this sea­son,” said Woods..

“He’s sim­i­lar to my­self in that re­spect.

“Noth­ing is re­ally ever good enough and that’s how it should be.”

PIC­TURE: Pro Sport/ Si­mon Davies

WORKA­HOLIC: Brent­ford mid­fielder Ryan Woods

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