AS A PLAYER or a manager, I would never, ever say anything like Reading’s Yann Kermorgant has said about Leeds and Chris Wood before a massive game.
I would hazard a guess that maybe Garry Monk will just print that all around the dressing room and probably won’t need a motivational speech before the game.
For me, Kermorgant’s comments that Leeds are a one-man team with no plan-B if Chris Wood gets injured, are a bit silly.
And if I was his manager, I would maybe have a word with him because there’s only one thing that it’s going to do and it’s not going to be a negative in the United camp.
I also liked Garry’s response that Chris actually only played 30 minutes of the 2-0 victory against Reading in December and that maybe his side could have won by more had the striker stayed on the pitch longer. Good reply.
I just think it’s very unfair to call Leeds a one-man team.
Chris is on fire, definitely, and we have said that Leeds would struggle a little bit without him because when you have got someone like that you will always miss them if they are not there. You miss the goals.
But I don’t think that by any means United are a one-man team.
I know that Garry wants his team to play in a certain way but Leeds have got certain players in their squad whereby they can keep that formation without Wood, without really having to revert to a plan B.
If he wants to keep the same system then he can always put Souleymane Doukara up there and you have got a like for like replacement in terms of a big strong man to play off.
Chris has obviously been nominated for the Championship player of the year award along with Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle and Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert.
I don’t think I would go for Knockaert. I think it would be between Gayle and Wood.
I think maybe everybody has known about Gayle before but in terms of a more complete player, I have seen Chris grow into that.
I’m biased anyway but I would go for Chris, though it will be a very, very close call.
Leeds now travel to Reading this evening for a rematch of December’s 2-0 win for Leeds at Elland Road.
It doesn’t seem like there is any ‘centre-halves club’ between Garry Monk and Reading boss Jaap Stam who was obviously unhappy about the 2-0 loss in December when his side had 80 per cent of possession.
But they never hurt Leeds and they just played in front of them all the time.
If you are going to have 80 per cent of possession then you have got to have a means to an end and if you haven’t got that it means you end up in a position of conceding two goals and you don’t get a shot on target.
If you are talking about plan Bs, maybe they didn’t have one either.
It’s going to be hell for leather at Reading.
It’s going to be high intensity because of where the two teams are and Leeds are coming in off the back of a great result against Brighton before the international break.
They have already beaten one of the sides above them and they have got to be taking points off the people around them.
If they do that, they can’t be reproached. That’s all you can ask of your team.
At the moment, I think Garry is getting the best out of every single one of them.
It will be a very tough game at Reading and Leeds will know they are up against one of the best sides in the league.
That goes without saying because of where they are. But I think Leeds can go and win there, though I think it might be close.
Automatic promotion is still possible for Leeds but I think they would have to win every single game.
I don’t know whether Garry sets the players targets and I don’t particularly set targets until there is something you can have a go at.
But Garry might turn around and say ‘we have got to win every game between now and the end of the season’.