Marcus Antonsson hopes his three goals against Huddersfield Town’s Under-23s have pushed him into contention for Saturday’s Championship meeting with Rotherham United after more than two months without a league start.
Antonsson produced a perfect hat-trick at the John Smith’s Stadium on Monday – one finish with his right foot, one with his left and the last with a header on 90 minutes – to earn Leeds’ development squad a 3-2 win and stake his claim for more concerted first-team chance this weekend. The Swedish forward has spent much of this season on the bench, kept out by the form of top scorer Chris Wood and a system which allows for only one striker in head coach Garry Monk’s line-up.
Antonsson earned plaudits early on and was named as Leeds’ player-of-the-month for August after coming up with crucial goals at Fleetwood Town and Sheffield Wednesday but his effort in a League Cup win over Norwich City last month is his only finish since Leeds visited Hillsborough on August 20.
Monk has limited the former Kalmar player to short substitute appearances and Antonsson featured for the final 12 minutes of a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday.
Leeds’ are looking for an immediate reaction against bottom-of-the-table Rotherham as they bid to stay in touch with the Championship’s top six.
Speaking after his hat-trick, Antonsson said: “I hope for a start after today’s performance. It was very good and nice to get 90 minutes again. To get three goals is perfect. I haven’t played that much in the last couple of games so 90 minutes and three goals – I’m getting strong out of that.”
Wood struggled for form in the opening weeks of the season but the striker has found his finishing touch impressively, taking his tally of goals to 11.
“I started well but there are a lot of good players here and Chris Wood has scored a lot of goals,” Antonsson told LUTV. “I’m just happy for the team that we are doing well on the field.”