Football: Chris Wood looks to continue hot form

Chris Wood has scored 18 goals in his 42 internationals for New Zealand. Photo / Getty Images.
Chris Wood has scored 18 goals in his 42 internationals for New Zealand. Photo / Getty Images.

He's scored seven goals in his past 13 games for Leeds United and All Whites striker Chris Wood is hoping to take that hot form onto the international stage when the team meets Mexico on Saturday.

The 24-year-old from Auckland, who has scored 18 goals in his 42 internationals for New Zealand, has been a standout in training this week and is looking forward to testing himself against the World No 15 in Nashville.

"I am enjoying my football at the moment," said Wood, who debuted for New Zealand back in 2009. "The team [Leeds United] is doing well which is the main thing. We are ticking along nicely and I hope I can bring that form into these games as well."

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson said Wood, who has been a regular skipper for the side in Winston Reid's absence, is a natural leader in the group.

"As soon as Woodsy comes in he lifts the group, he loves playing for New Zealand.

He is incredibly proud and has great attitude," said Hudson.

The All Whites have played Mexico four times in the past five years and know they are in for a huge challenge. When asked what he had learned in the recent fixtures against them Wood said: "That they are good," with a laugh.

"They are a good side. They move the ball well. They have some great players and we know that we will have to be at the top of our game to do well but I know we will be."

Wood has been impressed by the accuracy and intent and training this week. The team has their final training tomorrow and are looking forward to seeing Nissan Stadium. He said the days spent on the training pitch this week have been invaluable.

"It is the first time we have had everyone together for a while so it has been great. We have got a good bunch of guys together now and hopefully we can showcase what we can do."

Wood loves nothing more than playing for New Zealand and scoring goals at the highest level. He said everyone in the squad is up for the challenge to gauge where they stand in world football.

"These are the games that we want and these are the games that we need if we are going to progress as a nation," he said. "If we don't get games like this we won't progress. We look forward to the challenge."

Wood said the All Whites have a "huge 18 months to two years" coming up as they try to qualify for a third FIFA World Cup in 2018. He is excited about the potential of this group.

"We have a great team with lot of youth and experience. It is the most talent we have had in a squad for a long time. I am excited to see what we can do."


All Whites Tour of the USA - Fact Box
Game 1 v Mexico
When: Saturday October 8
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
Kick-off: 5:30pm local time (11:30am Sunday October 9)
Game 2 v USA
When: Tuesday October 11
Where: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington DC
Kick-off: 8pm local time (Wednesday October 12 1pm NZ time)

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