Stuart Dallas has been tipped by Garry Monk to be “an important player” for Leeds United this season, despite Monk admitting that Dallas’ involvement at Euro 2016 left the winger short of his peak.
Dallas is in contention for this week’s games against Luton Town and Nottingham Forest having missed Saturday’s win at Sheffield Wednesday but Monk said the Northern Ireland international was taking “time to adjust” after a busy summer.
Dallas featured for Northern Ireland at the European Championship in France, the province’s first appearance at a major finals in 30 years, and he missed most of Leeds’ pre-season after being given time off for a honeymoon with his wife.
He played in United’s first three league games but Monk left him out of his 18 for Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Hillsborough, citing the strain of the close-season as his reason.
“I had a good chat with him,” Monk said. “It’s very natural that when international players play in big tournaments – and I had it with the World Cup players at Swansea – they need a little time to adjust.
“It’s not a fitness thing. There was lots of emotion used in that tournament by him, stuff he’s probably not even aware of, and it’s just a case of giving him more time to adjust, get ready and get up to speed. We have to be clever with him.”
Leeds head into a fortnight’s break after Saturday’s trip to Nottingham Forest, their seventh game in 20 days, but Dallas could be absent for part of that interlude with Northern Ireland due to play a World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic in Prague on September 4.
“It’s just about having a plan, like I did when I worked at Swansea with the international players there,” Monk said. “You’ve got to help them back to full fitness and their peak.
“Stuart’s an important player for us, make no mistake about that, but you have to take care of these players. It’s been a long summer for him. We can’t put him in danger of burnout.”
Have you downloaded the free YEP app available on Android and iphone?