Leeds United: Gutsy victory at Rovers may just open door to play-offs – Whelan

Manager Steve Evans.
Manager Steve Evans.
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I’D agree that Saturday’s win at Blackburn Rovers was one of Leeds United’s most impressive performances of the season.

It showed everything, heart, passion, desire, hard work, commitment.

People talk about can we mix it, can we battle? Yes we can.

We had four midfield players in there in Toumani Diagouraga, Liam Bridcutt, Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt that showed a lot of courage and bravery.

It was a difficult pitch to play football on at Ewood Park but we got it down and played football and we deserved that win.

There’s not one player that I could pick out as being most impressed with.

It was collectively a great performance, hard-working and with quality in there.

You look at the goals and Mirco Antenucci’s goal was just tremendous.

That’s a goalscorer’s goal.

And it wasn’t just the goal that he scored and the composure to dink it over the goalkeeper but it was his work rate as well.

We know now that we do things with purpose, we break with purpose, we counter attack with purpose and we are defending now with purpose.

Everything that we did on Saturday was down to the manager and the players and the desire to work hard.

The play-offs are not beyond the realms of possibility but we don’t look any further than the next game which is Huddersfield at home.

We prepare from now until the Huddersfield game and if we go in with the same commitment and work ethic and togetherness that the team have got right now, enjoying winning and playing against teams, who knows what can happen?

Sometimes it’s how you finish in the league, not how you start.

Steve Evans has come into a club with players that weren’t his.

He’s now turning those players into something that he wants, his team.

There are still players that he wants to bring into the club but let’s not take away the good job that he has done.

He’s come in and we have all seen the difference.

Yes, sometimes results haven’t gone our way but we asked for a reaction from the players and wanted to see a difference since Steve came has come to the football club

Yes we have, and now we are beginning to see it week-in, week-out and the progression that he’s beginning to make with the players and the team and getting his results.

We can build a promotion side for next season but let’s not forget there are going to be teams coming down from the Premiership with the parachute payments for that season so it doesn’t get any easier.

But what we do know is that we have got a good squad of players at Leeds and on their day they can beat anybody.

We can’t be having too many players that we are carrying, it’s got to be a collective effort from everyone and that desire and hard work and ethic of how to get three points doesn’t come from just your ability.

It’s about doing the horrible things off the ball as well – the running, the tackling, the ugly side of the game and enjoying that. Because when you get that right you can go on and beat anybody on the day.

But Steve is going to need backing from the chairman.

He’s going to need these quality players that are going to make the difference next season when you compete against teams like Aston Villa and other big sides that miss out on promotion this season.

It doesn’t get any easier but the chairman has got to put his hands in his pocket and he’s got to help Steve out.

There were jubilant scenes when United scored their two goals and the fans here have always been the best.

They come to every away ground, they travel, they are there at Brighton, they are there at Cardiff and you can’t ever question the fans.

They like to enjoy themselves and what better way to enjoy yourself than with a performance like that and three points.

The fans just get better and better and Saturday’s win will have made for a good Saturday night.