Uwe Rosler is confident that Chris Wood will be fit for the start of Leeds United’s season despite opting to protect the striker’s niggling hamstring in tonight’s friendly against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Rosler confirmed that the striker would be left out of his line-up this evening after suffering further problems with the hamstring which forced him to miss last week’s game at York CIty.
Wood complained of a tight muscle during the warm-up at Bootham Crescent and was withdraw from Rosler’s team shortly before kick-off.
The 23-year-old was able to train towards the end of last week and travelled on tour to Austria but further concerns about his condition saw him restricted to a warm-up session at United’s camp in Kossen yesterday.
Rosler will name Wood among his substitutes for tonight’s clash with Bundesliga side Frankfurt and intends to use him from the outset of Saturday’s meeting with Hoffenheim in Norway.
United’s head coach conceded that Wood might not be “100 per cent” when Leeds begin their Championship term at home to Burnley on August 8 but said a behind-closed-doors friendly would be arranged to ensure that Leeds’ £3m signing from Leicester City is available.
“He won’t start (tonight) and he’ll build up for the game on Saturday,” Rosler said. “If everything goes normal then he will start on Saturday.
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“We’re then planning in the two weeks before we play Burnley to bring another game in - an internal game at the training ground for players who’ve not had enough playing time or players coming back from injury to get another 90 minutes.
“That will be enough for someone like Chris Wood to reach the start of the season okay. He’ll maybe not be 100 per cent but he’ll be in a position where he is match fit.”
Luke Murphy is the only other injury concern ahead of this evening’s match in Eugendorf, though the midfielder is moving towards a full recovery and has completed running sessions in Austria.
Steve Morison should start up front against Frankfurt in the absence of Wood and Rosler showed his hand last night by revealing that he will play Scott Wootton at right-back, Gaetano Berardi at left-back and Casper Sloth on the left wing.
Leeds have only two first-team friendlies remaining after tonight, the last at home to Everton on August 1, and asked if he wanted to see his tactics falling into place against Frankfurt, Rosler said: “I was very happy with two thirds of the game at York. I saw the principles coming through, with the ball and without the ball.
“Tonight I will play the same system, the same formation but I want to see one or two players in different positions. Scott Wootton will play at right-back. Casper will play and Berardi will play left back.
“It’s just giving players a chance to impress. I can’t choose the team after two games. We have to make sure we have 18, 19 or 20 players up to speed and match form. In the first weeks of the season we have Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday and we need the squad to have enough in the bank.”