Leeds United: Wood misses out to Knockaert but striker and Jansson make team of the year

Leeds United striker Chris Wood.
Leeds United striker Chris Wood.
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LEEDS United striker Chris Wood was edged out by Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert for the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Season accolade at Sunday night’s 2017 EFL Awards in London.

But Wood and fellow Whites team-mate, centre-back Pontus Jansson, were both named in the EFL Awards team of the season.

Leeds and Brighton were the only two teams with two players in the team of the year, with the Seasiders represented by both Knockaert and goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Wood faced a three-way battle with Knockaert and Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle but the two forwards had to give best to Brighton winger Knockaert whose trickery has helped the Seagulls to the top of the division.

Knockaert, 25, is the division’s highest-scoring midfielder with 13 league goals and the wide man has also created 13 assists.

Wood was overlooked for the top award despite leading the Championship goalscoring charts having netted 24 times in the league this season so far, meaning the striker has been responsible for scoring 44 per cent of United’s 55 league goals.

The 25-year-old New Zealand international has also been involved in 50 per cent of United’s league goals this term - a higher percentage than any other Championship player.

Wood’s contribution has fifth-placed United on course to finish in the division’s play-offs for the first time since 2006.

Gayle is the division’s second highest scorer with 22 goals and the two strikers will face each other this coming Good Friday evening when the Whites and second-placed Magpies face off in a 7.45pm Championship showdown at St James’ Park.

Wood is odds-on to win the Championship golden boot with the Whites forward no bigger than a 2-5 shot.

Gayle is second favourite at 3-1.

Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp was named League One player of the year, and also named in the team of the year.

Sharp edged out midfield team-mate John Fleck who was also nominated to be League One player of the year, along with Scunthorpe United midfielder Josh Morris who also made the team of the year.

Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Ferguson was selected as the team of the year’s manager while Doncaster striker John Marquis took the League Two player of the year award.

Marquis edged out team-mate James Coppinger who was also nominated, along with Luton Town’s Danny Hylton.

Doncaster centre-back Andy Butler was also named PFA Community Player Of The Year, while Rovers fan Paul Mayfield was also named supporter of the year.

Sheffield Wednesday forward George Hirst missed out on the Championship Apprentice of the Year award, which went to Nottingham Forest forward Ben Brereton.

Huddersfield Town midfielder Aaron Mooy also made the team of the year.

EFL Awards team of the season: Stockdale (Brighton), McLaughlin (Fleetwood), Jansson (Leeds United), Bradley (Plymouth), Stevens (Portsmouth), Knockaert (Brighton), Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Morris (Scunthorpe United), Gayle (Newcastle United), Wood (Leeds United), Sharp (Sheffield United). Manager: Ferguson (Doncaster Rovers).

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