Leeds man of the moment Wood delivers thinly veiled dig at Evans and Rosler
By Alex Stevens
Chris Wood has delivered a thinly veiled dig at Steve Evans and Uwe Rosler as he explained how sympathetic management has been key to his stunning transformation at Leeds this season.
Man-of-the-moment Wood explained had the complete faith of manager Garry Monk has been key to unlocking his full potential this season.
The striker tops the Championship scoring charts with 24 goals and his haul of 27 from 40 matches in all competitions has put Premier League clubs on alert, with Everton eyeing a £15million swoop.
Wood was criticised by sections of Leeds fans early in the season but he has ended any doubts about his effectiveness with a series of clinical displays that have made him the most dangerous striker in the Championship.
By contrast, the New Zealand international’s first campaign at Elland Road following his summer 2015 arrival – under the management of, first, Rosler and then Evans, yielded 13 goals in total and question marks over whether he was good value for his fee.
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“A lot of people have asked me what’s changed this season and it’s hard to put my finger on the exact thing,” said Wood, speaking ahead of New Zealand’s World Cup qualifiers against Fiji, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“The thing I believe I put it down to is having a manager and team – as in the players – who have believed in me. The manager’s backed me 100 per cent and the players have got round me and know what I can do. They’ve seen it in training and they knew I could do it on the Saturday. They’ve backed me completely.
“Having that faith from the manager is huge in football. That’s what you need, that’s what you strive for. If you’ve got the backing of your manager you go so much further.”
Monk took over the team from Evans last summer after Leeds had finished between 13th and 15th in each of their previous Championship campaigns.
Despite having a shoestring budget compared to the likes of Aston Villa and Newcastle, and making a net profit in the transfer market, the manager has taken the side to the verge of the play-offs.
Leeds are fourth in the Championship with a haul of 69 points and have genuine ambitions of returning to the Premier League after 13 years in the lower leagues.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club are to pounce and re-sign a 23-year-old after a £10million transfer is all but sealed.