By Harvey Byrne
Kyle Bartley has shared that he believes Garry Monk would not be afraid to pull Chris Wood out of the team if his performances drop.
The 25-year-old New Zealand international has been one of many stars in the Yorkshire giants’ team this season as they sit in fourth place of the Championship table.
The striker scored the all decisive goal in the 1-0 win over play-off rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday afternoon, taking his tally up to 22 goals from 36 appearances in all competitions.
Wood has been vital for Leeds and there is little else behind him in the striking department in the squad, but Bartley believes Monk would still axe him from the squad if it benefited the team.
“He’s up there with the very best (in the Championship). You see it week-in, week-out – he’s bullying centre-halves and he’s an absolute nightmare for them. I certainly wouldn’t want to play against him,” started Bartley to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“He’s scored a lot of goals and he’s massively important for us, not just with his goals but with his all-round play and how he leads from the front. He gives everyone a great lift.
“I don’t think he’s all we’ve got (in attack). I just think Woody has just made that spot his own and credit to him. He can’t get comfortable and he knows the gaffer won’t take any nonsense. If he’s not performing or if he has a game or two where he’s not on it then the gaffer won’t be afraid to make a big decision and pull him out of the team. But he’s a great lad and I’m sure he’ll keep performing.”
Wood has been a part of the Leeds setup since joining from Premier League champions Leicester in the summer of 2015.
He hasn’t always been considered one of the club’s top players and last season he received some taunts from his own fans after scoring 13 goals from 36 league games.
But, with his new lease of life supporters will now be hoping the powerful striker’s form continues as they aim to end a 13-year wait for Premier League football.