THE hectic nature of the League Two run-in presents a real test of endurance.

City’s trip to Cheltenham this weekend is the first of 20 games still to play in the remaining 11 weeks.

That will put plenty of strain on the players – and shuffling resources is likely to be a key factor for Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars.

But Connor Wood’s track record suggests they should have no worries about the left back’s staying power.

Wood has played every minute of City’s league campaign up to now – stretching an ever-present run that goes back to August 2019.

Since being left out of last season’s two opening games against Cambridge and Grimsby by Gary Bowyer, the 24-year-old has clocked up 61 successive league outings - and only been subbed once.

“I got brought off at Crewe for Harry Pritchard’s debut at the end of that month,” recalled Wood. “But that was the last time I missed a league minute.

“I count myself really fortunate that I’ve been fit for that long and not had any niggles. I’ve been able to be available for all those games – and grateful that whatever manager we’ve had at the time has had the belief in me.

“It’s a massive confidence-booster to have had several managers believe in me to play me week in, week out.

“There have been different positions – I’ve played left wing at one point and even centre mid – so it’s great for my self-esteem that they believe I can do a job wherever I play.”

Wood knew this current season would be a “horrible” one in his words because of the compacted schedule.

So, he began to prepare early during the first lockdown, ordering weights online and putting himself through rigorous solo training sessions in the fields behind his parents’ home.

“It was April/May last year and football was still up in the air. We didn’t know what was going on - there was still the possibility of completing that season at that point.

“But I told myself that whatever happened it was going to be horrible for the body and it would be put through a lot.

“Knowing it was a September start and you were still finishing at the beginning of May, you looked at the fixtures and knew they would be stacked up, especially when you throw in the FA Cup and Football League Trophy.

“I decided that I had to be fully prepared from that first lockdown because you saw there were so many injuries in the Prem at the end of last season.

“If you don’t look after yourself right, even for a little lay-off, then you’re going to be putting your body at risk.”

Whether Wood’s staying power will extend to remaining at Valley Parade after his current contract runs out in the summer remains to be seen.

Removing the salary cap may provide more wiggle room for negotiations with a player signed as part of the £4.1 million wage bill for the doomed 2018/19 campaign.

Wood said: “It’s maybe made a deal seem more likely because it’s given the club more leeway in terms of negotiations.

“But at this moment, I’m focusing on my football and putting off-field matters to the back of my mind while we’re on this run.”

Tuesday’s win over Morecambe has kept the feelgood factor building – although Wood admits he would be enjoying it even more with the City fans there.

“The crowd would have been buzzing for us on the run. The atmosphere would have been electric the other night, especially coming from behind.

“When the game’s finished and you’ve picked up the three points, you just want to hear the crowd cheering. It’s things like that you miss.

“The managers have both come in and done an incredible job so far. The least they deserve for that is to have the support shown to them and 14,000 fans cheering them on.”