Leeds United: Ipswich cruise hints at massive potential of improving Whites – Whelan

Chris Wood chases the down ball. PIC: Simon Hulme
Chris Wood chases the down ball. PIC: Simon Hulme
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SATURDAY’S display against Ipswich Town was absolutely excellent.

I thought the pressing off the ball, the intensity, passion, desire and commitment was all there to be seen.

And not only that but we played some fantastic football and I just can’t believe it ended 1-0.

There’s massive potential and we saw on Saturday the hard work they have been doing on the training ground with Garry Monk and the style of play that he wants from the boys. But when you add that aggression to their game, there’s not going to be many sides that can compete with them.

It’s early stages and it’s an unforgiving the league the Championship. You can win three on the bounce, you can lose three on the bounce. But we are going in the right direction and I think most fans will be very, very happy with what they saw on Saturday.

I thought everyone was excellent. Everyone did their jobs on and off the ball.

It was a mixed day for Hadi Sacko. I thought he did some excellent things but it was just that final ball and a little bit of composure in front of goal that was missing.

He should have had a goal to his name but everywhere across that field, nobody let the manager down and no-one let the fans down.

Chris Wood’s movement and the way he works the back four was excellent – and his aggression against the two centre-halves. And you saw an Ipswich side going home limping – which is nice. In my eyes it’s nice because they know they have been in a game and that’s the way most teams should be walking out of Elland Road. Wood now has seven goals for the season including his EFL Cup goals and I said before the start of the season that he can get 20 goals.

I said this at the end of last year when he went on a good scoring run. If we can keep up the pressing and the final quality in the final third and get the deliveries a little bit better as well in free play, then I think he can definitely get into double figures in the 20s.

Captain Liam Bridcutt again missed out on Saturday through injury and to be honest I think he has got to work for his place right now – after what we have seen from Kalvin Phillips who is getting better and better and stronger.

Not only is he winning balls and being aggressive but he’s starting attacks off with his range of passing and his vision.

He brings a lot of quality and sometimes I don’t think he is given the credit that he is due because he’s a defensive midfield player – not a Pablo Hernandez who is the creator in that little no 10 role. And I think what Phillips brings to the team is invaluable and he’s going to get better.

With Hernandez, I think he is getting used to his team-mates and he is settling down now at the club.

He’s getting used to Championship football because it’s not easy. It’s a different kind of football to Premiership football and playing abroad in Qatar where he has been.

But now I think he is finding that confidence, he is getting match fit and he is getting used to playing with the players and that’s what it’s about now.

He is getting used to the style that Garry wants, he’s settling down and we are seeing the quality that he brings the team.

At the back, it’s another clean sheet and while we can talk about Pontus Jansson, there’s Kyle Bartley as well.

Let’s not dismiss the job that he is doing because I think the two of them together are solid and we have got a really good spine in the team at the moment, all the way through the middle. We have got another test tomorrow night at Bristol City but we look like a football side and we look like we are not going to concede goals like we did last season.We are not making the same mistakes on the ball that we did last season when we were getting punished.

We have got two very experienced centre halves that are fantastic for the club.

There’s also Gaetano Berardi to come back in but in the pecking order I think he is probably behind Lewie Coyle.

Lewie had a great game the other night against Blackburn and if it wasn’t for Luke Ayling playing so well he would have been in the side on Saturday.

Berardi will be watching these games thinking he’s got a lot to catch up on.

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