Leeds United: Wood's first-team return is hampered by leg injury
Leeds United striker Chris Wood will undergo another scan on his injured hamstring today with head coach Steve Evans crossing his fingers for the arrival of a new goalscorer in the last few days of the transfer window.
Evans admitted that Leeds needed extra resources up front but insisted he would not “allow the standard of the players we’re targeting to drop” despite fresh worries about Wood’s fitness.
United’s leading goalscorer missed four games at the start of this month after limping out of a 2-2 draw with Derby County on December 29 but returned as a substitute in last weekend’s 1-0 win over Bristol City.
Evans started him away at Brentford on Tuesday night but Wood lasted for just 18 minutes before pulling up and forcing the Leeds boss to replace him with Mirco Antenucci.
The former Leicester City player is due to undergo a full medical assessment tomorrow morning but looks likely to miss Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Bolton Wanderers.
Evans, who has retained an interest in Kyle Lafferty despite Norwich City’s consistent refusal to discuss a loan deal for the Northern Ireland international, is short of experienced strikers and is waiting for a breakthrough in the transfer market before Monday’s 11pm deadline.
Evans said: “It’s important that we add to the group but what I can’t do is allow the standard of the players we’re targeting to drop. I don’t want to be one of these coaches at Leeds United, and you guys have seen too many, where you look at the name (of the player signing) and wonder why they’ve come.
“It doesn’t mean everybody has to be a name but they have to be able to produce it on the pitch.”
Wood has suffered from minor hamstring complaints throughout his time at Elland Road.
Evans said: “He just felt it tightening up. When he came off he said it felt tight. Whether that’s linked to a strain or just fatigue, you don’t know.”
Leeds have signed three players in the January window, including midfielder Toumani Diagouraga on a £575,000 deal from Brentford this week, but Evans set out at the start of the month with a plan to strengthen his attack and to add another centre-back to his squad.
United pulled in more than £3m from the sale of Sam Byram to West Ham United a week ago and Evans said: “We’re trying really, really hard.
“We’re moving one or two (deals) along nicely. Whether we get them or not, I don’t want us to be overpaying. This club shouldn’t even be thinking about that. We’re not going to get sucked into that.”