Chris Wood lauds 'unbelievable' Newcastle United team-mate
Wood, signed in January from Burnley, opened the scoring in last night’s 2-1 win over Southampton. Bruno Guimaraes, making his first start since his deadline day move from Olympique Lyonnais, scored Newcastle’s second goal.
Wood is yet to experience defeat as a United player, but the striker knows, ultimately, that he’ll be judged on his goal tally.
And the 30-year-old – who powerfully headed a 32nd-minute cross from Jonjo Shelvey on the left past Fraser Forster – was relieved to get off the mark on what was his eighth appearance.
"It’s nice to be off the mark now, and hopefully get more goals in the rest of the season,” said Wood. “Jonjo's ball made it easy for me to score."
Eddie Howe felt the goal, which cancelled out Stuart Armstrong’s opener, came at an important time.
“All I care about is the team,” said United’s head coach. “Obviously, I want individuals in the team to flourish. The goal is important to him, and it was a great goal as well. It came at a time in the game when we needed it, because we had to respond quite quickly to falling behind."
The bigger talking point was Guimaraes’ stunning back flick from a Matt Targett corner which had been headed to him by Dan Burn.
"Bruno with a bit of Brazilian flair,” said Wood. “It’s fantastic, unbelievable for him. He’s already a fan favourite, which is great to see, because he’s got a lot to give us."
Newcastle, 14th in the Premier League table, were backed by 3,300 fans at the St Mary’s Stadium, and they saw their team put in a committed performance.
"It was a very tough, hard-fought win,” Wood told Sky Sports. “They’re a very good side, especially on their home patch. That’s what we’re trying to instil in this team. (The win) shows the character in the dressing room. It’s fantastic for the lads. They’ve worked hard, and deserve it.
"We’re still in a battle, we still need to keep pushing up the table, and make ourselves mathematically safe, as soon as possible."
On United’s fans, Wood added: "They are absolutely outstanding, wherever we go, home or away. They’re always in strong voice."