RED-HOT WOOD

Kiwi striker nets twice as Seag­ulls are shot

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Chris Dunlavy

CHRIS Wood’s classy dou­ble took his tally to 27 for the sea­son as Leeds ruth­lessly dis­patched ti­tle-chas­ing Brighton.

Only five Whites play­ers have ever scored more than 30 goals in a sin­gle cam­paign, but the clin­i­cal Kiwi looks set to join the list af­ter a tow­er­ing header and thun­der­ous penalty capped a Leeds per­for­mance full of in­dus­try and am­bi­tion.

Brighton – who missed the chance to go top – did force two fine saves from Rob Green but never posed a con­sis­tent threat.

Leeds, mean­while, climb to fourth and can now look for­ward to a first ap­pear­ance in the Cham­pi­onship play-offs since 2006 – cour­tesy of their in-form hit­man.

“Credit to Chris,” said Leeds boss Garry Monk, whose side are now un­beaten in seven af­ter end­ing a six-game los­ing streak against the Seag­ulls.

“He’s bought into our prin­ci­ples and it al­lows him to per­form. I could sense at the start that he was a nat­u­ral goalscorer, quite in­stinc­tive in terms of his fin­ish­ing and his tech­nique.

“We just had to help him – as we do with all the play­ers – to re­fine it a lit­tle bit and be­come a lit­tle bit more clin­i­cal. More than that, it’s the work we do on at­ti­tude and men­tal­ity.

“Chris is the one on the end of the chances but it’s the team who make them. I hon­estly find it re­ally hard to sin­gle any­one out here – it was such a com­plete per­for­mance.”

Mas­simo Cellino fa­mously banned Sky TV from El­land Road in protest at their ex­ces­sive cov­er­age of Leeds matches.

The Ital­ian even­tu­ally re­lented, yet so grim and life­less was the open­ing 20 min­utes that it was tempt­ing to imag­ine a more novel tac­tic afoot to scare them off the premises.

Back­wards, side­ways, groans from the crowd. Brighton, mean­while, were con­tent to em­u­late Cardiff and QPR by sit­ting deep and ced­ing pos­ses­sion.

Credit Leeds, though. They kept prob­ing, kept feed­ing Pablo

PIC­TURE: ProS­ports & Ac­tion Im­ages

HE’S OFF: Chris Wood celebrates scor­ing his first goal, in­set

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