Newport County v Brentford: Nathan Wood hoping to be part of another Exiles giant-killing

Nathan Wood claps fans
Newport County are sixth in League Two have won three and lost two of their opening five league games

Nathan Wood has witnessed some famous cup shocks as a Newport County fan.

The 26-year-old now hopes for the chance to be a part of another Newport giant-killing after his football career turned full circle.

Newport host Premier League side Brentford in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

"I have been at those games like against Leicester, Leeds, Manchester City and Spurs, always as a fan or as an academy player," said Wood.

"Those games are the games you really realise why you want to be a professional footballer, to play against the top of the tree essentially."

Attacking midfielder Wood joined Newport on a two-year deal from Cymru Premier side Penybont in the summer - returning to the club who released him from their Academy as a teenager.

Wood recalled: "You have worked hard to get to that point at 17 or 18 anyway and then someone's opinion of you is that you are no longer going to be a professional footballer.

"It is not an easy time for any young footballer but I had good family, good people around me and a love of football. In those dark times it carries you through.

"You trust the process, you work hard game by game and nine years later you end up in the same place. I would not change my story for the world.

"I can be an example to any player that gets released. As long as you work hard and take your opportunities, it can come back for sure."

Wood paid tribute to the help of former Newport boss Mike Flynn, who took him to Undy United when first released, and the help given by Penybont manager Rhys Griffiths.

"For me and my game I owe him [Griffiths] a lot," said Wood.

"I know I would not be here had he not given me the opportunity. He is a winner, he does things properly.

"Credit to him, he is a driving force at Penybont and hopefully they can continue to go on and do really good things in that league as well."

After Newport's encouraging start to League Two, Wood and the squad look to follow up Saturday's 3-1 home win over Sutton United by adding another cup upset to the impressive list masterminded during the reign of Mike Flynn at Rodney Parade.

In the League Cup they have toppled Championship clubs Swansea City and Watford, to add to a clutch of eye-catching FA Cup victories over former Premier League champions Leicester, Leeds United and Middlesbrough, along with pushing Tottenham to a replay and hosting Manchester City in the fifth round in 2019.

Wood said: "It will be moment that will be surreal I am sure if I can play any part of it. That will be fantastic, even to be a player watch the game and be as close as I can, will be a great feeling as well.

"It's why you want to be a footballer, it's why you work so hard in the week, work so hard in your season and off season to play games like that.

"It will be a fantastic time and hopefully we can get another result and get another big draw. That is the plan."

Manager Graham Coughlan knows it will take something special to add Brentford to the list of clubs who have been cup victims at Rodney Parade.

"It will be difficult, we will need a lot of luck," said Coughlan.

"We will need the goalie to have a top, top night and we will need a couple of decisions to go our way.

"We need Brentford to be off their game and we need ourselves to be on top of our game.

"If all those fundamentals fall in place for us we have a chance. If they don't, we have no chance.

"At the end of the day you are relying on a little bit of luck, the lap of the Gods, but this group of lads will want to give a good account of themselves."