Steve Evans clarifies Chris Wood's situation, claims 'marked improvement'

Steve Evans says Chris Wood is currently '50-50' to play against Watford this weekend.

Leeds United boss Steve Evans has told the Yorkshire Evening Post that he will make a decision about striker Chris Wood on Thursday.

The Whites drew 0-0 with Middlesbrough on Monday evening, and whilst it was a great point against a side challenging for promotion, Leeds are still struggling in front of goal.

With just four goals in the last seven games, Leeds haven't had the firepower to really trouble teams, and much of that has been down to the absence of Wood.

The New Zealand international, 24, joined the Whites from Leicester City over the summer, and whilst he has received criticism from Leeds fans this season, his eight goals in 26 appearances make him the club's top goalscorer this season.

However, Wood has played just 55 minutes of football since the turn of the year, having picked up a hamstring injury and then another knock upon his return to starting action against Brentford at the end of January.

Mirco Antenucci and Souleymane Doukara are filling in for Wood but aren't scoring the goals, meaning manager Steve Evans is desperate to see Wood return - but he told the Yorkshire Evening Post that he is '50-50' for this weekend's FA Cup tie against Watford, despite a 'marked improvement' in his situation.

Evans called Wood Leeds' 'main man', and whilst he praised the work of Antenucci and Doukara, he believes Leeds need Wood back in action sooner rather than later.

"It’s maybe a stretch too soon but we’ll give him until Thursday," said Evans. "He’s 50-50. We’ve looked at it every two or three days and there’s been a marked improvement. We didn’t take a risk before but I got criticism for not starting him in a game (against Bristol City at Elland Road). We went to Brentford, introduced him from the start and it was disappointing to be missing him again."

"I’ve never sat here and said we’re punished by missing Chris Wood but I don’t see another team in the Championship missing their main man for as long as we’ve missed Chris. Chris is a big player. But I’m not going to decry my front two (Doukara and Antenucci) because they were very good. If they were playing for any other team I think you’d go away and say they are two excellent strikers," he added.

How badly do Leeds need Wood to return from injury?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch