Leeds United v Birmingham City: Rosler will not ‘gamble’ on Wood fitness

Chris Wood.
Chris Wood.
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UWE ROSLER will not “gamble” on using striker Chris Wood against Birmingham City on Saturday should the forward not pass an 11th hour fitness test.

Leading scorer Wood missed last weekend’s 3-0 loss at Middlesbrough through an injury which head coach Rosler has yet to elaborate on.

The German revealed on Thursday that the 23-year-old had made good progress this week but another game without the striker is a possibility with Rosler determined to keep the long term future at the forefront of his mind.

“Chris Wood will have a test tomorrow and then we will see if he is fit for the 18-man squad or not,” said Rosler.

“We are basically going into the hotel with 19 players.

“The decision has to be left to the player - obviously in communications with the medical staff but the final decision has to come from the player because he knows his body best.

“Our medical staff have worked around him, around the clock for ten days.

“I think there is a chance but we will see tomorrow.

“But I don’t like the word gambling, it’s not in my nature. I prepare and practice. “That is Uwe Rosler.

“We are in a better position with him than we were this time last week but this time last week he was a definite no.

“This time it will be decided tomorrow, is he available for us or not?”

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Rosler also confirmed that new loan signing and winger Will Buckley will go straight into his squad this weekend while also admitting that Sam Byram was now locked in a battle with Gaetano Berardi for the right back spot.

Byram - out of contract next summer and yet to sign a new deal - has previously been used as winger but Rosler added: “Sam sees himself as a right back, clear, and I see him as a right back but at the moment Gaetano is my number one right back.

“That doesn’t need to stay like that forever but at the moment Gaetano is my first choice right back.

“Sam has to compete for the right back slot against a very strong Gaetano Berardi and to get him out he will need to work very, very hard.

“But we can’t keep talking about Sam. We need to leave Sam Byram in peace now.”