Football: Chris Wood's Premier League hopes dashed as Leeds fail to win

By Alex McLeod

Leeds United's Chris Wood (left) will not be plying his trade in the Premier League for Leeds next season after failing to secure a Championship play-off spot. Photo / Getty Images.
Leeds United's Chris Wood (left) will not be plying his trade in the Premier League for Leeds next season after failing to secure a Championship play-off spot. Photo / Getty Images.

Chris Wood's hopes of securing a Premier League berth are all but over following Leeds United's 3-3 draw with Norwich this morning (NZT).

The All Whites star scored his 26th goal of the campaign to increase his lead at the top of the Championship goal scoring charts, but it counted for nothing as the result leaves Leeds in seventh position on the table, three points behind sixth-place Fulham.

With one game remaining in the league, Leeds could still finish level on points with the London-based club should Wood's side defeat Wigan and the Londoners lose to Sheffield United on Wednesday.

However, Fulham's goal difference of plus 27 is far superior to that of Leeds' plus 14, meaning Leeds would need to net at least 13 goals against Wigan in what would be a record victory in the club's 98-year history.

Wood - who could still yet play in the Premier League next season amid speculation of a potential transfer offer from Everton - scored a volley during injury time in the first half after Leeds fell behind 3-0.

Goals to Kyle Bartley and Pablo Hernandez levelled the score, but the first half capitulation was too much for The Whites to recover from as they failed to find a vital winning goal against the Canaries.

Leeds manager Garry Monk said it was "difficult to be critical of the group, as we've said for so long how much they've given to the club".

"The reality is, the majority of the group were not quite ready for this situation. They were not ready. And that's not a criticism, it's just a fact," Monk told BBC Sport.

Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle United have already secured promotion into the Premier League by finishing in the top two spots in the Championship.

Teams ranked third to sixth - Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town and Fulham - will play one another in a play-off format to determine the third and final club to be promoted into the top tier of English football.

Sunderland became the first of three Premier League sides to be relegated down to the Championship overnight as they lost 1-0 to Bournemouth at the Stadium of Light, ending their 10-year stay in England's top flight.

With one game left to play for Leeds this season, Wood's focus will soon switch to All Whites duty, with the national side's Confederations Cup campaign just under seven weeks away from commencing against hosts Russia in Saint Petersburg.

The Kiwis will play friendlies against Northern Ireland and Belarus in the lead-up to the tournament, meaning Wood will have minimal rest following the conclusion of his club season.

- NZ Herald

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