Leeds United: Key man Kemar looked at home for United in his new No. 10 role, says Noel Whelan

Kemar Roofe
Kemar Roofe
0
Have your say

WHEN you look through the whole 90 minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 win at Rotherham United, it was a decent first 45 minutes.

We started the game off very well and I think the tackle from Kalvin Phillips showed our intent with the aggression and leaving Greg Halford on the floor. We played some really good stuff.

I just think there was an opportunity to get our goal difference a little bit better but we didn’t really punish Rotherham enough in the second half.

We started going down to a slower pace and we felt the job was done.

But it’s never done – it’s a fragile scoreline is 2-0 – and if you get the third goal then you dishearten them and feel that you are in control of the game.

At 2-0, you are never really fully in control, even against 10 men.

They got that goal back and it completely changed the dynamic of a game that should have been very comfortable – but we made very difficult for ourselves.

That said, it was a massive win for us – not just to put us back into the play-off places in fifth – but because you are also bouncing straight back from a defeat and you are not taking two or three games to get back on track.

It was never going to be an easy game but it was a little easier playing against 10 men.

But in saying that we kind of let that control pass us by and in the end it was very shaky in the 90th minute when it really should have been a very comfortable victory for the team.

In terms of a man of the match, I thought Kemar Roofe was exceptional in that No 10 role.

I thought he played it really well and he was very clever in getting in between the lines and linking up play.

His decision making was spot on, especially for the Souleymane Doukara goal.

I just feel that he is getting better and better.

He is finding his feet now, he’s confident in his own ability and I am enjoying watching him.

He is improving with every game.

The spotlight was also on Liam Cooper coming in for the suspended Pontus Jansson and I think Cooper’s display epitomises his professionalism

He has been out of the games which must be frustrating for him.

But when he is needed and called upon, what an immense performance by him.

He takes the captain’s armband, he doesn’t whinge, he doesn’t moan, he gets on with the game and does a very professional job.

He must be a joy to work with and to have within your squad.

Out wide, it’s fantastic to see Stuart Dallas back for Leeds.

That’s a boost for the club and for Garry Monk and the squad in general because he is a quality player.

And I think at the moment it has got to be a massive headache for the manager who to play out wide because you can’t really leave anyone out.

No-one is really having a bad game and that’s all credit to the players and the way they are going about their business.

Souleymane Doukara is scoring goals and he looks like a different player to me.

He looks fitter, he looks hungrier, people are bouncing off him, he’s got a turn of pace and he is really enjoying his football for Leeds United at the moment and why wouldn’t you be?

All of the players seem to have a great togetherness about them, they are playing for each other and I can only see good things happening this season.

We’ve got the EFL Cup quarter-final at Liverpool coming up tomorrow but we have got a big league game coming up against Aston Villa next Saturday and for me the league is still the priority.

But you want to win every game and that is the sort of mentality you want to have at the club.

It doesn’t matter what game it is – you want to win it.

I’m hoping that whatever team Garry Monk puts out, it will be a strong side and a team that he trusts to go and get the job done.

Kalvin Phillips

Video: Leeds United’s Phillips accepts he can no longer have his cake and eat it