EXPERIENCED defender Richard Wood believes relegated Rotherham United have the nucleus of a team that can challenge at the top end of League One next season.
The Millers were officially relegated following last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Fulham and were beaten by Wood’s old club Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 in mid-week.
But the former Coventry man – who has racked up close to 100 appearances in League One – is sure that there is a group of players who can compete in the third tier next year, despite their struggles this term.
Wood said: “I think there is a good League One group here, we've struggled this season, we haven't got the extra quality other teams have with the bigger budgets, but I think we've got the nucleus of a competitive League One squad.
January recruit Ben Purrington
“If we can keep some players and add more signings like Ben Purrington in the summer we have a great chance, teams won’t want to come to the New York Stadium.”
Wood’s current deal expires at the end of the campaign and the centre back is eager to extend his stay at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Talks over new deals haven’t taken place with any player whose contract is set to end, but Wood is hoping to begin the process sooner rather than later.
He said: “I'm hoping to talk about my contract in the next few weeks. I'd like to stay, I'm settled in the area with my family. Even though we are relegated I don't want to jump ship. I want to help us get up again.”
The Millers appointed interim boss Paul Warne as permanent manager on a one year rolling contract on Wednesday and Wood believes he has all the attributes to make the role a success.
He added: “He's a very good motivater, to start off with he said he didn't want it, but he's grown into it.”
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Meanwhile, Joe Newell’s strike against QPR has been nominated for the Championship’s March goal of the month.
Newell’s effort in the 5-1 defeat in the capital is up against a strike from Blackburn’s Marvin Emnes and Tom Barkhuizen's first goal for Preston North End.
You can register your vote by visiting http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/10827574/watch-and-vote-efl-goals-of-the-month-for-march.
Voting closes at 6pm on Tuesday, April 11.