By Will Butcher

New Zealand manager Anthony Hudson has described Leeds striker Chris Wood as a “natural leader”.

The target man, who has regularly skipper the national team, has been in fine form for the Yorkshire giants, scoring seven goals in 13 league and cup encounters for Garry Monk’s side.

Hudson is full of admiration for his striker, describing his form for Leeds as extremely impressive.

“Woodsy has been superb for Leeds,” Hudson told New Zealand football. “He is a natural leader in this group and he is looking forward to the opportunity to test himself against world-class opposition.”

The 24-year-old was the subject of intense criticism at the start of the season, despite finding the net three times in his first five league and cup appearances.

Hudson, who has been manager of the All Whites since taking over in 2014, will be hoping the former Leicester striker can continue his good form on the international stage during the two-week break from club duty.

Wood joins fellow countryman and West Ham defender Winston Reid, Blackpool’s Henry Cameron and Ipswich’s Monty Patterson to face friendly tests against Mexico on October 8 and the United States on October 11.

Leeds’ number nine has 42 international caps to his name after making his debut against Tanzania in 2009. He has found the net on 18 separate occasions.

In other Leeds news, fans have reacted on Twitter to this senior trio being given a potential lifeline.