Jack Harrison ready to break new limits at Leeds United in best year of his career

LEEDS UNITED winger Jack Harrison says he will resume action following the best year of his career yet but now looking to break new limits for the Whites.

By Lee Sobot
Sunday, 21st June 2020, 5:45 am

If all goes well, the Leeds flyer admits he would then relish any opportunity to represent United in the Premier League and would target stepping up again to help the Whites thrive.

Harrison is one of five United loanees whose terms have been extended until the end of the season which will now conclude at the end of July aside from the play-off final on Tuesday, August 4.

Leeds, though, fuelled by the hurt of defeat in last year's play-offs semi-finals, are very much in the driving seat to achieve automatic promotion ahead of today's return to action at Cardiff City after a 15-week break due to the country's battle against coronavirus.

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NEW HEIGHTS: Leeds United's Manchester City loanee Jack Harrison celebrates his strike in November's 2-0 win at home to Queens Park Rangers. Picture by Simon Hulme.

Twenty one victories and eight draws from United's 37 games so far have a Leeds side who are second only on goal difference holding a seven-point cushion in the division's automatic promotion spots ahead of what is now their game in hand after yesterday's opening day.

Harrison has chipped in a season's best seven assists and five goals so far this term and the 23-year-old former Liverpool and Manchester United youngster is unlucky not to be on more.

It has, says the winger, been his best year yet with the Stoke-born footballer having started his professional career Stateside in the MLS with New York City before signing for Manchester City who initially loaned the winger to Middlesbrough.

Yet United's City loanee is not about to rest on his laurels with Harrison now targeting the next big step forward both for his club and in his individual game.

UNLUCKY: Jack Harrison has also been thwarted by the woodwork this season such as with the above effort in March's 2-0 win at home to Huddersfield Town. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

"You can ask the people closest to me, I've been saying I'm not young anymore for two years," said Harrison.

"Since coming back to England I've been like now's the time to really step up.

"It's been a lot more challenging than I expected, starting at Middlesbrough, coming to Leeds, not playing at my best.

"Those challenges have helped me grow as a player.

"You don't get to have an impact on a team without going through those phases, it's helped me grow.

"I'm just trying to use that going forward now. I'm working as hard as I can to get to that point.

"I know I need to get there, I know I can get there, it's just about doing the right things to do it on the pitch.

"In the MLS there wasn't the same pressure or environment. I've had to adapt a lot coming back to the UK.

"It's a really pressured environment, I've never really experienced that before. I had that phase not having my best performances and letting some of these things affect me as a player.

"If you want to be at the highest level you can't let that happen.

"I'm glad I've gone through it. I think it's been the best year of my career so far, all things considered. I'm just trying to build off it now. You keep breaking these limits, I've got to keep going and work harder to get higher."

Harrison's hard work during lockdown has been extremely evident for anybody following the winger's Instagram account yet United's City loanee admitted he thought it was only a matter of time before the season would be cancelled.

Leeds would have been crowned champions via the EFL's unweighted points per game method in such an event with the EFL saying that promotion and relegation should be maintained but Harrison is thrilled that United will get to conclude their promotion push on the pitch.

"You think of the pandemic and everything going on in the world I was thinking there's no way on earth we finish this league" admitted Harrison.

"Cases were increasing every day, the death toll was the highest in the UK and I was thinking it was only a matter of time before they cancel it.

"In the back of my mind I was always doing the training just in case we got the opportunity.

"It's good, I'm definitely glad they didn't cancel it, who knows what would have happened if they did.

"It's probably more excitement than anything, it's been so long since we were playing.

"We really wanted to redeem ourselves this year, we were in a good spot before quarantine started.

"The squad are excited to get back playing and get that opportunity back."

Assessing the prospect of Leeds United being back in the Premier League - and what that might mean for him - Harrison pondered: "I've had a lot of consecutive appearances with Leeds, if we get promoted it would be a promising place I could end up after having two years developed here under Marcelo.

"It'd be a great place to come and play in the Premier League, with his style of play too and after building that understanding with him.

"I'd have to step up again to make an impact for the team."

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