Millwall could look at opportunity for permanent Stoke midfielder deal in summer

RYAN Woods wants to put a "frustrating" period behind him – as Lions boss Gary Rowett revealed the midfielder could be a longer-term option for Millwall.

Woods, 26, has signed on loan from Stoke City and is eligible to face Reading on Saturday.

Woods (pictured above with Lions captain Alex Pearce) started the first five league games under Potters boss Michael O'Neill, who took over from the sacked Nathan Jones in November, but hasn't played Championship football since December 7.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be here," Woods told Millwall's website. "It's been a frustrating period for me over the last few months, but I'm pleased to get the deal done and can't wait to get going.

"The lads and the club are doing a great job in the league at the moment, and hopefully I can come and add to that."

"I know Gary and the staff really well and he played a big part in getting me here. I've played against a lot of the lads before as well, so hopefully it will be easy for me to settle in and get going as quickly as possible.

"I'd like to think that I will add a bit of composure on the ball and have a decent range of passing. I'll always give 110 per cent and let the fans and the club be the judge of my performances.

"I'm raring to go. I've missed the last six or seven matches, so my match fitness may be different, but I played the six or seven before that. Hopefully I can go straight in."

Rowett added: "It's great to have him here – I know him well from working with him at Stoke.

"He's a top midfielder in his position and he's very flexible. People may pigeon-hole him as a defensive midfielder in terms of playing a holding role and getting on the ball, but we've found previously that he can step in higher up the pitch and make things happen.

"The beauty of bringing him in is that he's got a bit of everything. He can pass the ball with a bit of extra composure and technicality that we need, but he is also a feisty character and competitive – I'm sure the fans will love him. He brings something different to what we've got."

"The plan for anyone we bring in is to look at them for the longer term. There is that opportunity, potentially, but the fact of the matter is that we needed to bring some extra quality into the midfield.

"We didn't just want to go out and get anyone, we wanted it to be a right midfielder and he was the number one target. I think he's a fantastic signing for us."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly