Thomas Christiansen says Leeds United winger Stuart Dallas has shown why the club moved to extend his contract last month – and has reassured him that a league start is just around the corner.
Christiansen singled Dallas out for praise after the Northern Ireland international completed United’s rise to the top of the Championship with an injury-time goal against Birmingham City on Tuesday night at Elland Road.
Dallas came off the bench to round off a 2-0 win, his second goal of a campaign in which Christiansen is yet to hand him a start in the league.
The 26-year-old enjoyed a promising pre-season but was a surprising omission from Christiansen’s 18-man squad for the opening game of the term at Bolton Wanderers.
United’s head coach has used him as a substitute in six other Championship matches, however, and Leeds tied Dallas to a new three-year deal before the end of the summer transfer-window deadline with Norwich City poised to mount a bid for him.
Dallas’ previous contract was due to expire next June.
Christiansen said: “We all know what Stuart is able to do. This is why I wanted to renew (his contract).
“We know what he is able to give the team and for sure he will have his opportunities. There are still many games to come and he will have his games from the beginning.”
Dallas’ limited involvement is the result of intense competition in Christiansen’s squad and the impressive form of an attacking line who have taken United’s goals into double figures.
Samuel Saiz increased his tally for the season to six with the opening goal against Birmingham and Pablo Hernandez, Gjanni Alioski and Kemar Roofe are among the 10 Leeds players who have scored already this season.
Roofe was dropped on Tuesday in favour of Alioski, despite claiming one goal and creating another in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Burton Albion.
But Christiansen said: “He came from playing a lot and I wanted to give him some rest.”