STEVE EVANS believes that Chris Wood has set a benchmark following his powerhouse performance in Leeds United’s outstanding 2-1 victory over Yorkshire rivals Hull City.
Wood arrived at Elland Road in the summer amid considerable fanfare and while he has shown glimpses of the prowess which persuaded Leeds to fork out a big seven-figure fee to sign him, those occasions have proved somewhat sporadic.
The big Kiwi headed into last weekend’s game with the Tigers with a haul of just one goal from open play in his previous 12 matches with his input being openly questioned by some supporters.
But an assertive display, crowned by a goal – his seventh of the season so far in all competitions – saw him bestowed with plaudits after he assumed responsibility up front as the lone forward in the United line-up in exemplary fashion.
Evans is hoping it’s a positive sign of things to come ahead of a hectic programme of games which sees Leeds face three matches over the course of nine days, starting with this afternoon’s trip to Championship strugglers Charlton Athletic at The Unhappy Valley.
On Wood, who celebrated his 24th birthday earlier this week, head coach Evans said: “I was delighted for him. There’s a little saying in my family that everyone has feelings.
“Chris has a reputation which has been hard earned, scoring goals and being such a presence in the Championship.
“For me it (Saturday) was the first time I’d seen him play in a Leeds United shirt with the ability and the aggressive attitude he’s got.
“He’s set that benchmark for how he’s going to be judged now.”