Leeds Need To Reignite Misfiring Wood

Last updated : 02 November 2015 By Auz

 by  Auz 

The New Zealand international may not have been the most prolific frontman roaming the planet, but he was accustomed to life in the Championship and, at 23 years of age, was a player with the potential to be a useful asset for the present and future.

Leeds followers were also pleased to see the purse strings loosened, with the £2million paid to Leicester City representing the biggest outlay by the Whites since they snapped up England international Nick Barmby some 13 years previous.


Here, it was thought, was a man capable of filling the void created by Ross McCormack’s departure, with any lofty ambitions the club may have had requiring a proven marksman to lead the line.

Wood’s opening to life in Yorkshire bode well, with three goals netted in his opening six appearances in the second tier – those efforts helping to capture five points – while that return was made four in nine during a 2-1 win away at MK Dons.

That, though, remains the last time Leeds picked up three points, with six games having come and gone since then, bringing with them another change in the dugout as Uwe Rosler was asked to clear his desk and make way for Steve Evans.

In truth, Wood has also fallen off the rails a little, with a penalty at Fulham all he has to show for his last five outings.

Few are suggesting that another tumble into League One awaits the Whites – even when taking into account football odds on betting markets and exchanges which continue to shorten with each passing setback – but it is clear that a spark needs to be found from somewhere.

Evans has been charged with the task of providing that off the field, with the intention being that some of his larger-than-life personality will rub off on those around him and have them believing that they punching severely below their weight.

Wood, though, has to ensure that he is another key cog in the Elland Road machine.

Leeds have invested heavily in him and will expect to see a return, even when the chips are down and the going gets tough.

Being a striker can be a lonely existence at times, but for those enduring struggles in front of goal or lacking in the required service from elsewhere, that challenge has to see them raise their game and play their way out of trouble.

Wood has not looked like doing that of late, with an almost anonymous showing put in against Blackburn Rovers last time out.

In that contest, in which he managed 69 minutes on the field, he posted some alarmingly low numbers in areas Evans and all of those connected with the club need him to be busting a gut to improve.

No efforts were fired in on goal – meaning he has now mustered just three in as many games under Evans, with one of those the spot-kick at Craven Cottage – while he only made it into the final third once, and not at all into the penalty area, where he is expected to thrive.

Wood also managed a miserly 20 touches against Rovers, easily his worst showing of the season to date, and it is this lack of involvement which must be addressed if he and Leeds are to break out of their current slump and start moving in the right direction once more.