Chris Wood sat out of Leeds United’s 3-0 loss to Middlesbrough.
Wood was forced to watch on from the sidelines at the Riverside on Sunday, and Uwe Rosler has explained to the Yorkshire Evening Post why he had to leave the striker out, whilst also praising Mirco Antenucci in his role as Wood’s replacement.
“He [Wood] was injured. I don’t think it’s a long one,” Rosler explained. “We found a way where we included Mirco very much in our play. I’m happy with his contribution and we didn’t isolate him.”
Wood was forced to sit out due to injury, and thankfully for Leeds fans, Rosler has admitted that he does not believe it will be a long-term absence.
It was Antenucci who took the lone striker role as his own in Wood’s absence, and although not naturally suited to playing by himself, the Italian performed admirably.
He failed to win a single aerial duel against the Boro defence, and was dispossessed six times whilst trying to hold up play, but he did manage four of Leeds’ 12 shots by himself.
Rosler has explained that he attempted to change the style of play to suit Antenucci, and this ability to change things round in Wood’s absence could prove vital later in the season.
Obviously, issues still exist when Wood is not playing, as Leeds lose their most threatening presence in the opposition box, but there are going to be times when he is missing, and Antenucci needs to be able to come into a system which suits his style of play.
The loss was not the way Leeds would have wanted to end their weekend, but the signs were positive that there is depth in Rosler’s squad to compete in the upper reaches of the division.