Leeds United head coach Steve Evans saluted a goal he called “the best I’ve ever seen in a game I’ve been involved in” after Lewis Cook’s blistering finish earned a 1-1 draw at home to Fulham.
Cook struck from 30 yards seven minutes before half-time last night, ending his wait for a first league goal on his 71st appearance for the Elland Road club. Evans praised Cook for emerging from a difficult spell in which the 19-year-old’s performances had become “fairly predictable” and said his goal would be “shown for the next five years” had it come in a Premier League match.
Cook’s 38th-minute effort cancelled out an earlier strike from Tom Cairney and came at a time when Fulham were threatening to take firm control of the game.
Evans said: “We’ve had an absolutely stunning goal from a stunning young player. I’d go as far as to say it’s the best goal I’ve ever seen from a player in a game I’ve been involved in live. That’s how good it was.
“If that’s in the Premier League it gets shown for the next five years.
“We’ve been trying to work on Cooky since we came in, trying to mix his game up because it became fairly predictable. I’m very blessed to work with him. He’s a magnificent player.”
Leeds, whose season was effectively ended by defeat to Watford in the FA Cup last weekend, are on a run of one win in 10 league games but Evans said he felt no threat from owner Massimo Cellino.
Evans, who has a contract to the end of the season but the option of a second year as head coach, insisted again that improvements to his squad in the summer would change a team who were without a goal in almost six hours of play before Cook found the net.
“You always feel pressure when you don’t win matches and I’m used to winning matches but a lot of these games have been draws,” Evans said.
“If we’ve got the real players we want in the attacking areas, do we win games?
“The answer is yes. Those players will arrive and I’m not a coach like others who’ve sat here and I said ‘I’ll build you a team’. They had no track record. I’ve got a track record with every chairman where I’ve said ‘back me and I’ll take you to promotion’. I’ve got a CV which says that is delivered.”