Dan James provides verdict on Leeds United's away fans, Marcelo Bielsa education and penalty dismay at Newcastle United

Dan James is up and running as a Leeds United starter and relishing the opportunity to develop under Marcelo Bielsa in front of the club's 'amazing' fans.

Sunday, 19th September 2021, 4:45 am
FULL DEBUT: For Leeds United winger Dan James, centre, in Friday night's 1-1 draw against Newcastle United at St James' Park. Photo by Bruce Rollinson.

Summer signing James was handed his Whites debut in Friday night's 1-1 draw at Newcastle United, lining up in the left winger position which Jack Harrison has made his own.

Harrison was forced to miss the Premier League trip to St James' Park due to coronavirus and James was given 61 minutes before being substituted for fellow Wales international Tyler Roberts.

James felt he could have been awarded a penalty in the first half when barged to the ground by Joe Willock, right in front of the eyes of referee Mike Dean.

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But the Whites recruit refused to moan about what might have been and instead looked ahead to progressing under United's Argentine head coach.

James joined Leeds from Manchester United on summer transfer deadline day for around £25m, 19 months after being poised to sign for the Whites from Swansea City, only for the move to collapse after Swansea failed to sign of the deal.

"I'm delighted to get my first start," said James.

"I am just glad to be here now.

"The fans were amazing tonight and they follow us everywhere.

"The style of football is obviously great and I will just keep learning off the manager.

"It's really exciting.

"It's one v ones all over the pitch which I want to be involved in going forward and back and it's something that I am going to keep developing."

James and Leeds looked on course for victory in Friday's clash on Tyneside after a cross from Brazilian winger Raphinha sailed into the corner of the net following Rodrigo's clever jump over the ball.

The first-half then became a thrilling spectacle of attack versus attack with both sides squandering chances until Allan Saint-Maximin fired Newcastle level one minute before the break.

Leeds then squandered a glorious chance to go back in front deep in first half stoppage time when Raphinha saw his shot from close range blocked before Junior Firpo walloped a volley over the bar.

"We obviously got that first goal," said James.

"It was obviously a bit fortunate to go in, it has gone straight in from Raphinha. It's a great cross.

"Obviously no one has touched it on the way through but it's a great ball in and thankfully it has gone in the back of the net.

"I think from then on we had two or three chances especially one at the end of the first half and we needed to put that away just to go into half time with that winning lead."

Assessing whether he felt he should have been awarded a penalty, James admitted: "At the time yeah maybe

"It's not one that I have looked back on.

"Obviously I will look back after the game but the referee has made a decision at the time and we have just got to get on with it.

"I'll have a look after the game.

"At the time I did think it was but you have just got to get on with the game.

"I can't influence referee's decisions, he makes his own decisions and I will stick with that."

The draw means Leeds are stuck down the wrong end of the table on three points from five games played and still seeking a first win of the new Premier League campaign.

But James says there is no need for alarm ahead next Saturday's return to league action at West Ham which is preceded by Tuesday night's third round Carabao Cup clash at Fulham.

Asked if there was any panic following five games without a win, James said: "No, not at all.

"I think the manager trusts us as much as we trust ourselves.

"We will go into this Tuesday game now in the cup with that winning mentality."

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Thank you Laura Collins