'He's a fantastic influence' - Rodrigo hailed for role with Leeds United youngsters after Wolves win

The Whites development side returned to winning ways on Friday afternoon.

By Joe Urquhart
Friday, 5th March 2021, 5:09 pm
Leeds United Under-23s head coach Mark Jackson. Pic: LUFC

Mark Jackson hailed the 'fantastic' Rodrigo after Leeds United Under-23s' 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Whites travelled to face Wolves in Premier League 2 action with head coach Marcelo Bielsa watching on from the Aggborough Stadium stands, as the club record signing returned from injury.

Rodrigo picked up a groin problem in late January but completed 45 minutes of development football during his comeback on Friday afternoon ahead of a potential inclusion against West Ham on Monday night.

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The Spain international bagged a brace with his first finding the bottom corner from the edge of the box after a well-worked free-kick.

His second came from the penalty spot as he put Leeds in command which was enough to earn all three points and move 13 points clear in the race for promotion to the top division.

Defender Gaetano Berardi also picked up more minutes while winger Ian Poveda saw his first match action for a month.

There were starting spots for youngsters Max Dean, Charlie Allen, Nohan Kenneh and Stuart McKinstry while Sam Greenwood was included after a spell on the sidelines.

Jackson - who saw his side return to winning ways after defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday - was impressed by the influence of the senior match winner on his young players both before and during the game.

"Rodrigo trained [with us] yesterday. It was really good to have him along with Berra," Jackson told LUTV post-match.

"He's a fantastic influence on the young players. You have to remember we have got four Under-18s playing today.

"For those senior players to come down and give their experience and work rate, show that desire and have the passion on the pitch like they did... it's superb for the young players and superb for the team."

Asked about the victory over third-placed Wolves in what was a strong performance across the pitch, Jackson added: "It was an excellent win. We knew it was going to be difficult.

"Wolves are in and around us and fighting at the top of the league. I thought it was a really strong performance from the players as a team. There were a lot of strong individual performances within that which obviously contributed to the three points.

"We could maybe have had more goals but their goalkeeper made some good saves in the second half. We're really pleased with the performance and the result."