THOMAS CHRISTIANSEN has given his backing to Gaetano Berardi after the defender questioned his own place in Leeds United’s team but the club’s head coach refused to say if he would look for a new left-back in January.
Christiansen described Berardi as a “guarantee I have” on the left side of defence and talked up his leadership qualities in wake of Berardi claiming that Leeds “probably need a better player than me” in that role.
The position has been open since Charlie Taylor left for Burnley at the end of his contract in July but Leeds have the option of recruiting a specialist left-back in the forthcoming transfer window.
Christiansen said: “I will not say that we’re going to sign a left-back. We are working on different situations for this transfer period.
“It’s a difficult moment in the winter period to sign somebody. It can be difficult. I’m happy with Berra and the other players.”
Berardi has played 15 times this season, including starts in all of the club’s last seven matches, and he will feature again at home to Hull City this afternoon.
Christiansen said: “What I want is to make the best team I can but if you’ve seen all the games he’s played in, he’s done very well. For me it’s already a guarantee I have there.
“Everyone uses the word ‘warrior’ when they speak about him but he’s a team player who fights for the team and in good moments and bad moments is very positive.”
Forward Kemar Roofe also played down Berardi’s comments, saying: “I’m surprised hearing that but I’m not at the same time.
“He’s known as a hard man but everyone loves him in the dressing room. He’s a real humble guy. He’s done tremendous this season.” Asked if he saw a problem at left-back, Roofe said: “Not at all.”
Everyone uses the word ‘warrior’ when they speak about him but he’s a team player who fights for the team and in good moments and bad moments is very positive.Thomas Christiansen on Gaetano Berardi
Christiansen is likely to keep an unchanged line-up against Hull today after four games without defeat.
Striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga could return to the squad after six games out with a calf strain but Christiansen revealed that winger Stuart Dallas will be missing “for a few weeks” yet with the ankle injury which has kept him out for a month.