By support

13th Apr, 2017 | 9:03am

Chris Wood delivers verdict on Leeds promotion hopes, heaps praise on 25-year-old

By Will Butcher

Chris Wood has not given up hope of achieving a place in the automatic promotion slots with Leeds despite being 12 points behind Newcastle.

Wood, 25, who missed out to Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert at the EFL awards ceremony for the Championship’s player of the year award, believes Leeds still have a faint chance.

Speaking to Leeds’ official Twitter account, the Yorkshire giants’ number nine claimed his side could still catch the top two with only five league games to go.

The former Leicester striker also lauded 25-year-old Knockaert for his sublime season with Brighton, as he continues to inspire the Seagulls to first place in the Championship.

“Yeah it was nice to go down there [ceremony] and be recognised for a good season. I’ve known Knockaert for years,” Wood said.

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“He’s a great player and a great mate of mine, he’s done very well this year and is a worthy winner. It’s a great honour to be nominated in the top three players of the Championship.

“Hopefully we can sneak a couple of results here and there and maybe force ourselves in there, but if not we will look to cement our place in the play-offs.”

Despite scoring 27 goals in all competitions, target man Wood missed out after being nominated alongside Knockaert and Newcastle goal machine Dwight Gayle.

Wood will now be looking to prove he is worthy of his top-three spot against Gayle’s Toon on Good Friday.

Manager Garry Monk will be hoping his side do better than in the reverse fixture, which saw Newcastle triumph 2-0 at Elland Road, largely thanks to a Rob Green blunder in the first half.

Three points could see Leeds climb to third in the table and within nine points of Newcastle, who lost last time out to Sheffield Wednesday.

In other Leeds news, Lucas Radebe has reminded fans why he turned rivals Man United down.

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