STEVE EVANS have conceded that Leeds United frontman Chris Wood needs to be a touch sharper – while admitting that his recent extended international trip with New Zealand came at an untimely juncture.
Wood has found the net six times for United since joining in the summer for a big-money fee, but has netted just once from open play since the end of August – with two of his seasonal haul so far coming from the penalty spot.
The Kiwi headed into the recent international break on a high after netting in the 3-0 derby victory at Huddersfield before linking up with his country ahead of the friendly against Oman in Muscat on November 11 – when he captained the side.
While United head coach Evans says he would never begrudge – or prevent – one of his players being handed international recognition, from a purely selfish United perspective, he would have much rather he had been on deck at Thorp Arch in an ideal world.
On Wood’s campaign, head coach Evans said: “I think he’s done okay. He has got to get himself a little bit sharper, but again we are working on these things.
“When you come in, you can’t always do these things very quickly. When the international break came, he was off to the Gulf for eight or nine days with his country.
“As much as I respect and love the fact that we have international players, sometimes there’s little periods of time where you would love them to be here.”