LEEDS United head coach Garry Monk has backed Chris Wood to land the Championship player of the year award on Sunday evening after both Monk and Wood missed out on the monthly accolades for March.
Monk and Wood were shortlisted for the March manager and player awards but beaten by Wolves boss Paul Lambert and Preston North End striker Tom Barkhuizen respectively.
Wood and Monk will now face Barkhuizen when United take on the Lilywhites at Elland Road tomorrow and Wood could then be named the Championship’s player of the season the following evening.
The Whites forward is up against Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle and Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert and will discover the outcome at the EFL’s annual ceremony in London on Sunday night.
“Once he’s in it you want him to win it,” said Monk about Wood’s player of the year award prospects.
“Let’s hope so. But with those accolades, for him, Chris knows that it will go down to his team mates as well and if he can win it then great – it will be fantastic for him.”
Reflecting on the addition of another manager of the month nomination for himself, and another player of the month shortlisting for Wood, Monk added: “Those things are a sign of why everyone is talking about Leeds – why and how we have been talked about – for the football.
“And that was something that was really important to the club, it was something that was needed and I have to credit the players and the staff and everyone, the fans and the club itself. For people to be talking about Leeds how they have been talking, which has been missing for a long time now, those type of things are just recognition for that and that goes down to a lot of hard work from these players, a lot of dedication and commitment from everyone at the club and that’s the most important thing going forward.
“Those types of nominations and things, really that’s what they are for.”
Wood leads the Championship’s goal-scoring charts having netted 24 times in the league this season - twice more than Gayle.
Brighton winger Knockaert has scored 13 times this season but has also created eight assists.
Wood has scored 27 goals in all competitions this season and was named Championship player of the month for January.