Thomas Christiansen dedicated Leeds United’s win at Bristol City to Stuart Dallas after the winger missed Saturday’s game following a family bereavement.
Dallas flew home to Belfast as Leeds were preparing to travel to Bristol on Friday after the death of his mother.
The Northern Ireland international was due to feature in Christiansen’s squad at Ashton Gate but United’s head coach has told Dallas to take “the time he needs” and said a 3-0 victory over Bristol City was “for him and his family”.
“He was not in the squad because we got bad news that his mother passed away,” Christiansen said. “From me and the staff and all the players, we want to give our condolences and tell him that this is a win for him and his family.”
Dallas has started only one league game this season but has appeared regularly as a substitute. Christiansen fielded him in all three of United’s Carabao Cup ties but said Dallas was under no pressure to return in time for tomorrow night’s last 16 clash at Leicester City.
“I told him he should take the time that he needs because in life, the most important thing is the family,” Christiansen said. “Football is just our hobby and both we have to enjoy as long as we have them. From here, the win goes to him.”
Gaetano Berardi, however, is set to be ruled out of the trip to Leicester and Leeds’ forthcoming league games against Sheffield United and Derby County after the fourth red card of his career on Saturday.
Berardi was sent off 10 minutes from time at Ashton Gate for a headbutt on Bristol City forward Matty Taylor, an incident which sparked further confrontations between players and staff on the clubs’ respective benches. Taylor was also dismissed for his part in the incident.
A red card for violent conduct carries a minimum three-game ban and despite Bristol City manager Lee Johnson indicating that he would appeal against Taylor’s dismissal, Leeds are unlikely to challenge Berardi’s sending off.
Christiansen revealed that referee Oliver Langford had punished Berardi for retaliating as Taylor ran to confront him over a challenge made by the Swiss left-back.
“I didn’t see it,” Christiansen said, “but I went to the referee and asked if it was necessary to show the red card. He said it was clear.
“He told me that the other player came to him (Berardi), provoking him, but everyone has to control themselves in that situation.”
Berardi was dismissed twice in his first four appearances for Leeds in 2014 and again during the 2015-16 season but had avoided any further red cards for almost two years. Despite the events at Ashton Gate, he took part as planned in the ring walk before Josh Warrington’s featherweight world-title eliminator against Dennis Ceylan in Leeds on Saturday night.
His pending suspension will open the door to Vurnon Anita when Sheffield United come to Elland Road for Leeds’ next Championship fixture on Friday night.
Anita appeared as a substitute in the closing minutes at Bristol City having missed three previous games through injury.
Christiansen claimed United’s comprehensive victory over a City side who were unbeaten in 12 games had demonstrated the quality and depth of his squad.
“I believe in my players and I believe I have a good squad,” he said.
“The players made a very good performance, showing everyone what they are able to do.”