Woods out to beat old club

HAD things turned out differently, Scottish midfielder Martin Woods could have been lining up for Leeds United in tonight's Yorkshire derby at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Woods joined Leeds, then one of the giants of the Premier League, as a 16 year-old and spent over three years at Elland Road.

Recalled Woods: "I had a few options at the time but Leeds had a really good set-up so I joined them. I enjoyed it. I only made a couple of appearances but I was in the first-team squad at an early age.

"They offered me a new contract the season they were relegated but I opted to join Sunderland, who had just got promoted, so it was a good move for me."

Woods later moved on to Rotherham before linking up with Rovers, where he is one of the club's biggest names.

Woods, who captained the side in Tuesday's excellent 3-1 win over Norwich City in midweek, is in the final year of his four-year contract.

Rovers are keen to keep the former Scottish Under-21 international at the club and are reported to be close to finalising a new deal.

Much of the media talk in the build-up to tonight's game has related to Rovers 1-0 win over Leeds in their 2006-07 League One Promotion play-off final at Wembley.

But whilst a number of his team-mates on duty tonight will no doubt have been re-living their part in arguably the greatest day in the club's history in recent days, not so Woods.

"I didn't play in the final," he said.

Leeds had fancied their chances going into the game having avenged a surprise defeat at Elland Road with a victory in the return later in the season.

"I'm sure that they weren't happy with the defeat - not least because it helped keep them in League One for another two seasons - and they'll be looking to avenge that in the first game between the two clubs since," said Woods.

"I look forward to every game but derby games are always a bit special.

"Leeds are a big club with a big fan base and it should be a packed house and there should be a cracking atmosphere.

"It's vitally important in games like tonight that we maintain our discipline and our composure and do what we do well.

"As a club Leeds are far bigger than we are and always will be with their fan base, which includes quite a few people from Doncaster.

"It would be nice to convert some of the younger local Leeds fans into Doncaster supporters and a good performance tonight might help us achieve that.

"In my opinion I think that we've got a better team at the moment.

"Which, bearing in mind the difference in league placings less seven or eight years ago, is testament to the job done by the chairman and management in that time.

"I feel that we are a better side than Leeds but that doesn't mean that we'll be treating them lightly.

"They lost striker Jermaine Beckford and that was a massive blow to them because he scored a lot of goals."But they've brought some good lads in during the summer and more recently with the likes of Ross McCormack from Cardiff.

"They've got a lot of good players but I also think they have weaknesses which, hopefully, we can exploit,"

"It will be a tight game but one we can win."

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