Leeds United: Wood urges new boss to utilise Monk’s groundwork

BUILD ON IT: Is the message from Leeds United striker Chris Wood.
BUILD ON IT: Is the message from Leeds United striker Chris Wood.
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CHRIS WOOD has urged Garry Monk’s managerial successor to use the groundwork he laid at Elland Road.

Leeds, who narrowly missed out on making the Championship play-offs last season, are beginning a new era following Monk’s decision to vacate his post just days after Andrea Radrizzani completed his takeover.

Monk not only brought stability to the Yorkshire side following a slew of managers, but also guided them to their first top-half finish in six years.

And Wood wants Leeds’ next manager to use his predecessor’s work as a platform, rather than shaking things up.

“We’ve got the foundations, you have to build on it,” said Wood.

“We can’t be tearing those down to start new ones. Hopefully the manager that does come in will build on them and bring his own style but keeping the style that we had last season.

“Of course we were hoping he (Monk) was going to stay on.

“It’s unfortunate that he had his reasons after speaking with the owner - it just didn’t come to the fore that he could continue.

“It’s football, it’s life, we’ve got to move on from it and look to the future and we wish him all the best.”

The 25-year-old, the 27-goal top scorer in last season’s Championship, is grateful to be close to home this week for New Zealand’s friendly with Northern Ireland in Belfast on Friday.

Many of Anthony Hudson’s squad have made a 30-hour trip for a fixture that will serve as a warm-up for the Confederations Cup in Russia later this month.

Wood normally makes the reverse journey to represent his country having left home at just 16 to try and make it in England with West Brom.

“It was something I had to do if I wanted to be taken seriously as making a career out of football,” Wood explained.

“At the time it didn’t seem like such a big deal. My parents took on a lot of the burden, living apart for a while, moving away from their friends, their family, leaving my sister at home with my mum for a while.

“As I got older, 21, 22, I realised how big a step they had to make for my career. It was great to have that courage and that belief from my own family. It’s nice that I can hopefully repay them.

“It was all I wanted as a kid. I got to 14 and I wanted to play professionally for the rest of my life.

“I didn’t think it was ever possible. I always believed in myself but nobody ever rated me that highly until I got over here. It’s great to be able to make a career out of it and hopefully a long one to come.”

FINE FINISH: Kalvin Phillips fires home Leeds United's second goal during Saturday's 3-2 win against Ipswich Town. Picture by Simon Hulme.

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