GARRY MONK admits that bringing in an additional striker will be a priority area for Leeds United in the January transfer window.
Eleven of United’s 25 Championship goals this term have been scored by Chris Wood, with the next highest league scorer being Souleymane Doukara, who has struck three times.
Monk is anxiously awaiting the injury prognosis regarding Wood after the Kiwi came off with a hamstring issue in the 2-0 victory over play-off rivals Reading – a game which saw him score in a Tuesday home fixture for the sixth successive time this season.
While stressing that Wood’s injury is not serious, Monk is entitled to be mindful of his side’s over-reliance on the goal input of the forward and need to cover their bases, especially if Wood is affected by form or fitness issues in the second half of the season.
On his new year transfer hopes, head coach Monk, forced to include young Academy striker Mallik Wilks, 17, on the bench with Marcus Antonsson missing out after suffering a back spasm, said: “Striker is one area, definitely. I said that in the summer and it is one area we need to strengthen.
“There are other areas, too, but I am sure the club’s working hard to address those situations. For now, I just focus on the group I have got.”
Remaining positive ahead of an injury update regarding Wood, Monk, added: “It did not look serious to me, not in the way where someone sprints and a hamstring goes. It was more a case of him feeling something, but in those situations you have to err on the side of caution.”
Wood’s exit was the only downside to a vibrant evening for Leeds, who made light of their lack of senior central midfield options to produce a performance full of heart, drive and tactical maturity against one of Championship’s undoubted form sides.
At the hub of it all was Ronaldo Vieira, whose disciplined performance was emblematic of the hosts’ impressive efforts, with the 18-year-old adding to his burgeoning reputation.
Monk added: “He is so mature for his age. You saw it from the first minute to the 91st minute. He was brushing someone aside in the 91st minute and he is developing nicely.
“He is listening. He has got ability and he knows that but he is critical of himself. Because he listens, he is growing all the time.”