Why Hibs' Nathan Wood dismisses Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock's concern over loan deal challenges
Hibs’ on-loan defender Nathan Wood has hit back at his Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock after the Riverside boss questioned the value of his spell in Edinburgh.
Hit by a defensive crisis and unable to recall the England U-20 captain, Warnock had taken a pop at Wood’s agent, suggesting he had offered his client poor advice given the youngster’s lack of game-time since his transfer deadline day switch.
But the 19 year-old, who finally made his debut in last weekend’s 3-0 defeat by Dundee United, said that he never expected to walk straight into the starting line-up. However, he would continue working to convince manager Jack Ross that he should be a regular.
“Everyone has their opinions on [Warnock] but he’s fine with me. I just needed to get out of Middlesbrough, to be honest, as I didn’t really feel part of that squad and didn’t feel I was playing enough games at my age.”
Having enjoyed a successful second half of last season on loan at League One Crewe Alexandria, Warnock selected him just once in the opening month of this term.
“That’s why I took it on myself to push for a loan. It was my decision. I could have gone to League One or stayed at Boro, but I didn’t want to just be comfortable.
“I wanted to push to play games in an environment like this where it’s hard to get into the team and you need to work hard to stay there.
“Waiting for your chance can be part of football sometimes. I have had to wait to get into the team but I didn't come here thinking it was going to be a breeze and that I was going to come in and get in the team easily because this is a good team that has been winning games. So, if the time is not right, you’ve just got to wait for your chance to come.
“And, when it comes to the things [Warnock] said about whether this loan is right for me, whether it ends up being good or bad is up to me. It is up to me to make it a good loan. But I can only do that by training well week in, week out, and playing well.”
With Ryan Porteous suspended, the England teenager was offered his chance against United, but with so many players having an off day, in a team display branded lazy and selfish by the angry Hibs gaffer, he still has work to do if he wants to tie down his place in the side.
“I was hoping that I could perform better, and the team as well. But that is just football and it is about how you bounce back,” said Wood.
With the team travelling to face Aberdeen at Pittodrie today, seeking their second league win in six, he is hoping for another opportunity to impress.
“You have got to move on. You have bad days and you watch the games back and you pick up on bits you could have done better and you look forward to your next game. You have to have that belief in yourself that you can put it right. If you play with fear you will fail. You have got to be positive.”
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