By Alex Stevens

Steve Evans has backed Chris Wood to be the prolific striker Leeds so badly need next season by bagging 20 goals.

The Leeds manager says “without a shadow of doubt” Wood can reach the landmark if he stays fully fit.

The Championship club tried to sign Norwich striker Kyle Lafferty in both the January window and during the emergency loan window.

Leeds are expected to target at least one striker signing in the summer transfer window but but Evans is convinced that the team already have a top goal-getter on their books.

New Zealand international Wood has netted nine times this season – to make him joint top scorer with Mirco Antenucci – but endured two separate spells on the sidelines with hamstring problems.

Asked if Wood was the man Leeds so desperately need to reach the 20-goal landmark of all top strikers, Evans insisted to the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Yes he is, without a shadow. And I think he would have been on 15 or 16 already if he’d not been out as long as he had.

“Now, and he takes all the credit for this along with the fitness team downstairs, he’s got himself in incredible shape, as good as it can get really. In that shape he will get 20 goals.”

Wood is expected to once again lead the Leeds line in Saturday’ Championship clash against Reading at Elland Road.

The Yorkshire giants are aiming to build on their 2-1 win at Birmingham, which cemented their position of 15th in the Championship, four points clear of 16th placed Blackburn.

In other Leeds news, the club will be without at least one regular against Reading following a decision announced on Thursday.