Neil Wood: Salford City boss says play-off defeat inspired Carabao Cup upset

Salford City players celebrate
Salford City's win against Leeds United means they have reached the third round of the Carabao Cup for the first time

Salford City's Carabao Cup success this season is the result of learning from their League Two play-off semi-final penalty shootout defeat by Stockport County, says boss Neil Wood.

The Ammies have defeated Championship sides Preston and Leeds on penalties in the competition so far this season.

Back in May, Salford eventually lost to Stockport on penalties at Edgeley Park despite having a first-leg lead.

"The quality of penalties was really high," Wood told BBC Radio Manchester.

"We'd done a lot of preparation when we played Stockport in the play-offs. The past two games [that have gone to penalties] since then we've not really done any preparation, we've just left it to the lads who felt confident and who wanted to take one.

"We've come a long way, especially in the penalty department and we learned a harsh lesson against Stockport."

Salford have registered two wins from five League Two games this season and are 10th in the table, but Wood believes their progression in the Carabao Cup can help transform their season.

Their win against Leeds means they have reached the third round of the competition for the first time since winning promotion to the EFL in 2019.

"We have to use this as a reference point. That's two Championship clubs we've come up against now, and you can see the difference in the level of the leagues, but we have to take the confidence of going through these rounds and take it into the league," he added.

"The sheer determination and hard work and organisation it has taken in these past two rounds, it's a good reference point for the players to know the level they have to be at every week.

"We have to kick on and move forwards. These types of things just help you with confidence as well."