Leeds United 1 Fulham 1: Monk backs United hero Wood

Garry Monk.
Garry Monk.
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Head coach Garry Monk has backed Chris Wood to keep silencing the doubters after his injury-time bicycle kick earned Leeds a 1-1 draw with Fulham.

Wood has been on the wrong end of some terrace boo-boys throughout his time at Elland Road, most recently during Saturday’s defeat to Birmingham.

He hardly helped his cause here with a poor late miss, before rescuing his side with his brilliant goal.

His response was to twice cup his ear to the Leeds fans, an act which may not immediately repair any rift between the two parties, although his goal certainly should.

“I don’t know if delighted is the right word, but I was very pleased for the players and everyone. I was very pleased for Woody. He missed that chance, but he came back and it was good reward for him. It epitomised our spirit,” Monk said.

“There was spirit with them in the changing room and you can see that. Tonight was a really good test for us. We could have easily thought that it wasn’t going to be our night.

“I was especially pleased for Chris, he missed an earlier one and could have easily felt sorry for him, frustration was coming his way but his mentality epitomised what the team were doing. I’m very happy for him to score that goal, it’ll give him a big boost.”

Fulham saw their 100 per cent start to the season end as a result of Wood’s goal. They had led through Tom Cairney’s brilliant curler with 13 minutes left and would have been good value for a win.

The highlight of their performance was their 16-year-old league debutant Ryan Sessegnon who was outstanding at left-back and is surely destined for a higher platform - a point his coach seems all too aware of.

“He is a very good project of the football club, he needs to continue to keep working hard, in this way we have to be careful about him,” boss Slavisa Jokanovic said.

“For his debut he offered many, many, many quality things during the game. I don’t want to say (he is a) kid, but he is doing work with adult people and I don’t find a big difference between them.”

On the ending, Jokanovic added: “It is a little bit unlucky, we are a little bit frustrated after this late goal. We didn’t score more goals at the beginning and during the game and Leeds scored a typical Championship goal, a big centre-half touches the ball and the big striker catches a bicycle kick, which can happen.”

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