‘It was just instinct’ - Leeds United forward Joe Gelhardt reflects on his wonder goals and the step up to Premier League 2 Division One
Joe Gelhardt has shared his thoughts on his brace against Liverpool and the newly-promoted Under-23s progress in the division.
The young striker netted two stunning goals as Mark Jackson’s side beat Liverpool Under-23s 4-0 on Sunday.
Gelhardt, who hails from Merseyside, opened the scoring from the centre circle. Seizing on a loose ball, Gelhardt took one glance before sending the ball flying over the Liverpool keeper, Marcelo Pitaluga, who could only palm it into his own net.
With his side 3-0 up in the second half, the 19-year-old struck again, receiving the ball from Adam Forshaw, taking it past Reds midfielder Thomas Clayton before firing into the top-left corner from 30 yards.
“For the second one, something inside me just said ‘shoot’, so I let it go and thankfully it went in as well.
“For the first one I saw the goalkeeper off his line and I thought ‘why not’ and thankfully it went in.
“It was just instinct. As I got it, it was just a quick glance and didn’t think about - I just did it.”
The instinctive quality Gelhardt has displayed week in week out under Mark Jackson has prompted calls from fans for the teenager to be considered for first-team action.
For now, though, Gelhardt says the difference between the teams they played last year in the Premier League 2 Division Two and the opponents they face this season is proving challenging.
“I think physically we’re always going to be fine with the intensity of training we do,” Gelhardt said. “But the quality in the league is noticeable, technically and tactically, I think the teams are a step up, but I think the lads have done well with the step up overall.”
Since earning promotion to PL2 Division One over the summer, Mark Jackson’s Under-23s have won three of their five league matches, with the Liverpool win taking the Whites up to fourth place.
Despite playing the starring role in the Reds’ defeat, Gelhardt was full of praise for the industry of his teammates as they stormed to victory.
“It was a good team performance,” said Gelhardt.
“I was happy to get two goals and an assist, but it’s all about the hard work from the team. We all worked so hard and we got our rewards.
“All the forwards we have are dangerous players and have a goal in them and the midfielders as well, we have seen a few from them too.
“Everyone in the team has a goal in them which is a good thing.”
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