Sadler call convinced Wood to make 11th-hour Crawley switch

Richard Wood (left) and his new Crawley team-mates celebrate at Swindon on Saturday
Richard Wood (left) and his new Crawley team-mates celebrate at Swindon on Saturday

A call to former Crawley Town player Mat Sadler helped convinced Richard Wood to jump off the Rotherham team bus and head to Crawley on Friday.

The central defender has seen his chances limited at his parent club this season with injury problems, but was brought in by Dean Saunders on a month’s loan late on Friday.

It was so late that the 29-year-old, who has made just five appearances for the Millers since joining from Charlton Athletic last summer, was already on the coach for the Championship club side’s clash at Wolves on Saturday.

But with the move a possibility, a quick chat with Sadler, who returned to Reds on loan earlier this season, and the chance to play was all the encouragement Wood needed to borrow a car and head for Crawley.

With a place in the starting line-up, 90 minutes and a 2-1 win against third-place Swindon to kick-start his Crawley career it was pretty much a dream debut for the experienced centre-back.

He said: “I did ring him (Sadler) before I came here and he just said good things and said I’ll enjoy it as long as I am playing I am sure I will.

“It was nice to be playing again. It’s been a while since I have played and it’s nice to get 90 minutes in and three points as well, which always helps.

“I have just been frustrated. All I want to do is play and I got this opportunity, when the call came I couldn’t turn it down.

“I am looking forward to it and the lads seem great as well. I have only been here a day and a night, but it’s going well so far.”

On the game itself, he added: “We looked good. The lads were very solid, we kept our shape and they didn’t have too many ideas really.

“Lewis made a couple of important saves. He got me out of trouble in the second half with one at the back post, but all in all, the first half they didn’t have too many chances at all. It went well for us.”