Leeds United: Pontus just what the doctor ordered for back four – Whelan

Leeds United v Huddersfield Town. United's Pontus Jansson. .10th September 2016. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
Leeds United v Huddersfield Town. United's Pontus Jansson. .10th September 2016. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
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I THOUGHT it was a very professional performance from Leeds United in winning 2-0 at Cardiff City on Saturday.

I didn’t think it was Leeds’ best performance but I thought it was a job done.

The back four were very solid, as were the midfield and then we had Chris Wood on the goal sheet who has now had two goals in two matches.

Pontus Jansson was my man of the match. All day long.

The ball was like a magnet to his head and every ball that was in the box he cleared and got the first connection on.

With Kyle Bartley next to him as well, you have got two solid, aggressive defenders and that’s what we have always needed.

Jansson is going about it the right way to get himself a permanent contract at Leeds because I think he has been a world of good for the club. And he is going to get better.

This was only his third league game and he just commands it. He looks the part, he’s solid, he’s good on the floor with the ball and he’s a leader. You can see that. He gets the fans going, he wants the team to do well and he just gives us that solid backbone of a team that we need at the heart of the defence.

With our second goalscorer Pablo Hernandez, we know he has got the quality – we have seen it in his Premiership days when he was at Swansea. Garry Monk knows that – that’s why he has brought him here to Leeds United and he’s just finding his feet. That’s what players like that do.

It’s different when you are playing at Championship level with different kind of players around you.

But we saw in the latter stages of the game that when he gets the space he can hurt teams and you could see he was desperate to score because he wasn’t passing to Chris Wood when he should have done!

But the goal was just sheer class and he couldn’t have put it any better in the top corner.

For me, apart from Liam Bridcutt missing, I think that’s our best XI that we used on Saturday.

I think you have got a nice balance across the midfield and you have got a nice balance on the wings.

You have got players there that excite me in Stuart Dallas and Hadi Sacko and both can get down the line.

Both can bring quality and both can put crosses in.

But the important thing for me is that they both bring a work rate when they are out of possession. They are tracking back and defending and doing a job for the team.

We have got an abundance of central midfield players and then we have got Hernandez and if we are playing one upfront then we do have the options of strikers on the bench there.

There has been a lot of chat again about Garry Monk’s position in the last week and unfortunately that is the nature of the beast of being a manager.

There is always going to be speculation and there is always going to be pressure because of the job and what’s happened in recent years with Leeds United managers and not having enough time.

He knows what he wants to do with the club.

He’s got the players there, he’s working it and these things do take time and not just six games. Sometimes it takes a year and then in the second year, that’s when things start clicking together and you get a formation and players and you add to that formation with specific players for those roles.

He needs to have time and people need to get behind him.

We’ve had two great wins this week and while they might have come against teams in the bottom three, you have still got to play and beat what is in front of you.

These are not easy games and there are no easy games in the Championship.

I am sure people will now start talking about the play-offs again, just as they will keep talking about relegation if we lose a game. But it’s a long season that has only just begun.

There’s going to be a lot more twists and turns in it and what is nice to see is that we’ve got back to back wins.

We are climbing up the table gradually, we are going in the right direction and it looks like we have got the formation that works and the players to play those roles. So let’s just get behind them and hopefully we can take this confidence and winning mentality into the Blackburn game.

Simon Walton (left) is sent off by referee Matt Messias during the pre-season friendly match between Leeds United and Valencia in 2004.

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