Leeds United: Relieved Monk is pleased for goalscorer Wood

Chris Wood equalises.
Chris Wood equalises.
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Garry Monk said he wanted a dramatic overhead kick from Chris Wood to launch Leeds United’s season after the striker’s injury-time goal snatched a 1-1 draw with Fulham.

Wood’s 93rd-minute effort averted a third straight league defeat last night and gave Leeds their first point of the campaign as he rode further criticism from the crowd to deny Fulham at the death. The former Leicester City player was targeted on another difficult evening at Elland Road and appeared to have wasted the chance to level the match when he missed a point-blank header in the final stages of normal time.

But an acrobatic reaction deep into injury-time, turning Charlie Taylor’s cross past goalkeeper David Button, saw Wood claim his first goal of the campaign and salvage a draw. The forward celebrated his finish by cupping his ear towards the Kop.

Monk said: “I’m especially happy for Woody. He missed a chance just before that and he could have felt sorry for himself so he epitomised the spirit of the group.

“He probably missed an easier chance than the one he scored and there was a bit of frustration coming his way, understandably.

“But his mentality epitomised what we did.

“Him getting that goal epitomised what the team were doing.

“That will give him a lift because strikers love to score goals. We deserved what we got.”

Fulham struck the post in either half before former Leeds player Tom Cairney broke the deadlock with a top-corner finish from long range on 78 minutes.

Monk, who was fiercely critical of his players after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City, said: “It was a very even game. The most pleasing bit was the last 10 minutes. We could easily have felt sorry for ourselves, thinking things were against us again.

“We talked about character and desire and in those 10 minutes the spirit came through. It got us the point we deserved.

“I’ve seen it before and experienced it where things like that, those sort of moments, give you a big boost. You could see in the changing room afterwards that the spirit was with the players. They were very together at the end and that’s what we need.”

“Spirit and endeavour - you have to have it in this league. The quality will come because we’ve got good players.”