Leeds United star Chris Wood in running for top Championship award
LEEDS UNITED striker Chris Wood has been nominated for the Championship's player-of-the-year award on the back of his dramatic streak of goals this season.
Wood is one of three players shortlisted for the prestigious prize, alongside Newcastle United’s Dwight Gayle and Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert, after firing his way to 27 goals for Leeds.
The 25-year-old’s exceptional form has established him as the Championship’s top scorer with 24 in the league and put him in contention to become only the sixth Leeds player in history to claim 30 in a single campaign.
Wood recovered from an inauspicious start to the term, during which he was jeered by United’s crowd in a 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City at Elland Road, to underpin Leeds’ impressive season.
The club are fourth in the division with their season set to resume away at Reading on Saturday and Garry Monk’s squad moved onto 69 points with a 2-0 win over second-placed Brighton last weekend.
Wood claimed both goals in that victory and Queens Park Rangers are currently the only Championship side to emerge from two league games against Leeds without conceding to the New Zealand international.
Gayle, meanwhile, has helped Newcastle to the top of the Championship by scoring 21 times despite a number of injury problems. Brighton winger Knockaert has also been a highly influential part of Brighton’s bid for automatic promotion, claiming 13 goals and seven assists.
Wood is bidding to become the first Leeds player to win the Championship’s player-of-the-year award since the prize was established in 2006.
Ross McCormack made the EFL’s three-man shortlist in 2014 after scoring 29 times while Jermaine Beckford was twice named League One’s player-of-the-year in 2008 and 2010. This season’s awards ceremony takes place in London on April 9.
Wood is currently abroad on international duty with New Zealand and the All Whites captain scored in a World Cup qualifying win over Fiji over the weekend.
New Zealand are due to meet Fiji in a second qualifier in Wellington tomorrow but coach Anthony Hudson is considering making changes to his team after a demanding first match.
“Given the conditions and humidity, it took a little bit out of us in terms of us having that last little bit of energy,” Hudson said. “Some players were feeling a little bit of cramp and we were having to change decisions at the last minute.”