Chris Wood’s niggling hamstring will be more of a frustration than a concern for Uwe Rosler.
I don’t doubt that the lad will be fit for the start of the season but Rosler must have been looking forward to doing serious work with a key signing.
Pre-season is when you put in the hard yards and try to make the penny drop.
Wood’s quite an experienced player so it’s not like he can’t cope, but it’s annoying to be sitting on the sidelines and watching your team-mates gearing up for the main event.
Luke Murphy will be feeling that too.
In both instances, Leeds are doing the sensible thing. Murphy’s back running already and can’t be too far off and the club will be glad of their quick decision to send him for surgery.
Operations are the last resort but it’s better to nip a problem in the bud than let it trouble a player for week after week.
With Wood, there’s no point in taking a risk with him. It sounds like the issue with his hamstring is minor and the plan seems to be to start him against Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Softly, softly is a good idea because anyone who’s played football knows that if you take liberties with injuries you pay for it in the long run.
When we get to the start of the season we’ll be playing six or seven times in the first month so it’s no good if Wood gets to that stage with doubt lingering over him. It’s much safer to treat him with caution now and drive him on when the time’s right.
It’ll be great to see him get to 100 per cent because he’s going to be a big player for us.
He’s definitely one of the signings that’s excited me most.
Wood is precisely what we’ve been lacking for a while – a goalscoring centre forward – and he seems like a good fit for the system Rosler’s using.
All the reports and everything I’ve seen this summer suggest that we’ll be going 4-3-3 when the season starts. It’s no secret that we need more wide players to let that formation work to its full potential but it’s got to be a good way to go in the Championship.
More and more the Championship is about scoring goals and winning games. You take a draw if you have to but when every club’s going hell for leather, a draw is often two points dropped.
Bournemouth and Watford got out of the league last season by going for it.
They both scored almost 90 goals and won almost 30 games. There’s a very obvious lesson there.
Used in the right way, 4-3-3 will really let us get at teams. It offers support to your striker and prevents the sort of isolation that our forwards were playing in for spells last season.
Cautious tactics are fine if you’re fighting relegation, as we were from Christmas onwards, but it’s not the way to go if you want to win promotion. You’ve got to trade blows with other clubs and try to outfight them. I get the impression that Rosler is that sort of coach.
Obviously his jigsaw is not yet complete and I reckon he’ll only be truly happy with his squad if he manages to add some width to it.
We were a pretty narrow side last season and there aren’t too many players in the squad who would call themselves wingers or say that playing out wide is their best position.
If we can fill that slot – and I’m convinced that the club will address it before the end of the transfer window – then we’ll definitely be a threat.
I’m not saying we’re going up or that we’ll make the play-offs but clubs will find us to be a very hard game.
From following reports about the pre-season camp in Austria, it’s pretty clear that it’s been hot, hard and tiring out there.
German football is famous for its attention to detail and I imagine that Rosler is pretty meticulous.
It’s the same every year – get the preparation right and the rest falls into place.