Marcelo Bielsa has suggested,in comments reported by Leeds Live, that he really liked Stuart Dallas’s performance during Leeds United’s 1-1 draw with Preston North End on Tuesday night.
Leeds missed the chance to go top of the Championship at Deepdale. But they were ultimately grateful to bag a share of the points. Eddie Nketiah scored an 87th minute equaliser after the home side had broken the deadlock 10 minutes earlier.
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It was a tough night for Leeds. They perhaps edged the game in the middle of the park. But they – once again – struggled to take advantage once they reached the final third.
The game saw Dallas start in central midfield once again. The Northern Irishman has moved into the role with the likes of Pablo Hernandez, Adam Forshaw and Jamie Shackleton all sidelined with injury. And Bielsa suggested that he was extremely happy with what he saw from the 28-year-old.
(Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)
“I liked the performance of Stuart today,” he said,as reported by Leeds Live. “He’s a player who develops every day a little bit more. For instance, Dallas is the opposite example in relation to what I was saying about Bamford and Nketiah. Because Shackleton is injured, Forshaw is injured and he had to play as number eight and he never played this position.
“We didn’t have a chance to prepare him as number eight, prove him. Klich was playing as number ten, Shackleton and Forshaw injured, so Dallas is playing as number eight. At Millwall he played just 15 minutes, after he went to the international break and today he played again as a number eight in the middle and I really liked his performance today.”
It was a difficult evening for Dallas. Preston applied plenty of pressure on Leeds while they were in possession, so the Whites struggled to produce their usual fluency.
In fairness to Dallas, he did not do a lot wrong. Nevertheless, it did appear that Leeds did miss one of the injured players in that area of the pitch.
Dallas has been one of the Whites’ biggest revelations this season. His form at right-back was outstanding, and he looked set to make Luke Ayling’s task of getting back into the team much tougher.
He has arguably not been quite as influential in the middle. So it will be interesting to see what Bielsa does once one of the injured trio returns now that Ayling is back settled in the defence.
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