By Will Butcher

Andy Ritchie has heaped praise on Chris Wood after revealing how he has been won over by the goal machine.

Wood, 25, won the Championship player of the month for January after scoring six goals in just four games against the likes of Rotherham, Barnsley and Derby last month.

Ritchie lauded New Zealand international Wood in his Yorkshire Evening Post column, after admitting to having doubts over the target man following a sticky start at Elland Road.

“I was one who thought that maybe Wood did not have enough pace to play in that role,” Ritchie said. “But his goals have been priceless for Leeds this season.

“He’s found a rich vein of form, he has found himself the right football team and he has grown into that role of playing up front on his own.”

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The former Leicester striker has scored 21 goals for the Yorkshire giants this season, with 18 of those coming in the Championship as Leeds currently sit in fifth place.

An inability to shake off niggling injuries last term saw Wood score just 13 goals in 37 appearances, but has proved this time round that he is capable of much more.

Leeds’ number nine will be hoping to add to his wonderful tally of 21 by finding the back of the net against Neil Warnock’s Cardiff on Saturday at Elland Road.

Likely to be marked by former Leeds teammate Sol Bamba who joined Cardiff upon Warnock’s arrival in October, Wood must win his individual battle for Leeds to claim three points.

A win against the Welsh giants could see the former Champions League side move into third and just four points off second placed Brighton, if the Seagulls, Huddersfield and Reading lose.

In other Leeds news, why this Tottenham ace would be a huge signing for Monk’s side.

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