Christiansen insists Wood stays
LEEDS boss Thomas Christiansen left no doubt that the club must keep hold of star striker Chris Wood – a priority made clearer by his side’s goalless draw against ten-man Preston.
Last season’s top scorer in the division, Kiwi striker Wood was reportedly the subject of a bid from a Premier League club.
But Christiansen said: “There can come many bids; of course, he’s a good striker. But if I want him to stay, if we want to achieve something this season, you cannot sell your best players.
“I haven’t talked to the club but I imagine that they are as ambitious as I am, and if we want to go up we need to keep the players and also we need to sign good players.
“If they gave me £200m like for Neymar, perhaps we could talk about that.”
Meanwhile, Preston boss Alex Neil was pleased with his side’s resolve as they survived playing 30 minutes with ten men, but still came away with a sour taste at Leeds’ ticket prices.
“I think the general price [in the division] is anywhere between £20 and £28,” he said.
“So to go £44, if you’ve got a family of four and you’re a normal working family, that’s a lot of unnecessary money.
“We certainly don’t charge away fans coming to see the game that at our place, so as far as I’m concerned it’s wrong.”
Those North End fans who did shell out at least got to see their side on top for an hour, with Alan Browne wasting the best chance of the first half and Greg Cunningham having a headed effort ruled out for offside.
But in terms of chances and initiative, the game was entirely turned by the dismissal of Preston’s holding midfielder Ben Pearson for a second yellow card three minutes later.
Neil said: “You can probably separate the game into two parts; when we were at 11 men each, we were the better side. We were the most dominant side, we moved the ball better, won our battles, and we created better chances.
“Up to that point everything was going well, and then obviously we got a man sent off and we had to adopt a different approach.”
Pearson’s dismissal allowed Leeds to pour forward and Wood went clean through off Pablo Hernandez’s pass, but Chris Maxwell made a wonderful low save.
Carabao Cup hat-trick hero – and spitting suspect – Samuel Saiz had a chance off the bench, but his powerless header was easy for Maxwell.
The keeper’s next call to action was not so simple; substitute Stuart Dallas forced a good stop with a header from a narrow angle, and Maxwell recovered quickly to keep out Hernandez’s half-volley.
The Leeds faithful greeted the announcement of five minutes’ injury time with a huge roar, but by the end they were glad to come out unscathed after Josh Harrop’s shot was deflected onto the crossbar.
It was the first time Leeds had failed to score since 17 April, having scored seven goals in their opening two games this season, but Christiansen said: “It was fair.
“We had a tough game again against Preston, a good team, a very organised team who live it with passion.
“When you play for that amount of time with one player more and do not win, it is an opportunity lost.”
SO CLOSE: Preston North End defender Greg Cunningham can hardly believe it after his shot looks over line but no goal is given