Date: 5th March 2007 at 3:23pm
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Wednesday boss Brian Laws heaped praise on young defender Richard Wood after the Wakefield-born player started his first match in over a year for the club in the victory over Leeds.

Woody’s last start for the Owls came in the goalless draw with Crystal Palace at Hillsborough in February 2006 – and he also made a substitute appearance in the FA Cup defeat at Manchester City before picking up a different injury.

The Owls gaffer revealed he would have no worries throwing the defender in to a big Yorkshire derby following the compassionate leave given to Graham Coughlan – and he described his performance as ‘exceptional’.

‘I’m not going to have too much of a go at the players because they worked their socks off and with 10 men for 40 minutes is difficult at the best of times, but I thought they were remarkable.’ he said.

‘You look at Richard Wood. He’s been out for 13 months, played 45 minutes in a reserve game and I threw him in at the deep end because of difficult circumstances with Graham Coughlan and the death of his younger brother.

‘Credit where credit’s due, I thought Richard Wood was exceptional. His adrenalin was pumping and he put in a sterling performance.’

And the defender is set to get his second run out in a matter of days as the Owls welcome Plymouth Argyle to Hillsborough for a re-arranged fixture tomorrow night.