Nathan Wood learning all the time at Swansea City

17th February
First team

Swansea City defender Nathan Wood believes he has progressed massively since first facing Blackburn Rovers at home in August, and is looking forward to locking horns with them again at Ewood Park.

That August match represented Wood’s home debut and just his second appearance for the Swans, and he admitted that he did not cope with the situation as well as he could have.

But that was six months and 25 Championship appearances ago, and the 20-year-old feels that regular game time has helped him take huge strides in his personal performances ahead of the return fixture.

“Experience is something you can’t coach or buy – you only get that by playing games,” said Wood.

“It’s hard to explain, but the more you play, you start to learn what to expect. I’m enjoying it.

“I love it here to be honest, because in the long run you know you’re only going to get better.

“The last game against Blackburn wasn’t what we wanted but we’ve come a long way since then, me especially, so I’m looking forward to seeing how far we’ve come as a team and individuals compared to the first home game.

“That home match was only my second match as a Swansea player and I was on edge a bit, but I feel like I’ve learned so much since then and been through those situations.

“I’ve got more experience of moments in games like keeping your head if you’re losing but don’t deserve to be.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge, and it will be a challenge because they’re a good team with good players who pose a threat.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how I cope with it because I didn’t feel like I coped with things very well in that first gam, but since then I feel I’ve learnt to be better in those moments.”

Nathan Wood and Matt Grimes v Blackburn

As well as progressing on the pitch, the young centre-back is also progressing off it.

Despite being the youngest Swans player on the pitch on Wednesday evening, it was Wood who took it upon himself to remind his team-mates to enjoy the feeling of victory despite not being satisfied with the second-half showing against Blackpool.

“We weren’t at our best in parts of the second half, but there have been many times this season where we’ve dominated games and haven’t come out with a win,” he explained.

“I know you need to reflect on performances because the more good performances you have the more wins you will pick up, but I felt like we’d come off the match with three points and ultimately that’s what matters.

“Winning a game changes the mentality. When you lose a game, you feel like ‘right, we have to win the next one’, but if you win, you think ‘let’s win the next one and see where it takes us’ so it’s more positive. You look forward to it more and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”