Leeds United: Proud of players’ performance as Whites send Tigers’ bid south - Whelan

United's Lewis Cook takes on Hull's Jake Livermore.
United's Lewis Cook takes on Hull's Jake Livermore.
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I WAS absolutely overjoyed with Saturday’s win against Hull. I was proud.

I was overjoyed for Steve Evans who got his tactics spot on and I thought the team selection was spot on, and executed to what they planned to do to try and stop a very, very good Hull side, which they did.

The players were outstanding and the fact we were undecided who should be man of the match, naming most of the squad, just goes to show what a great performance it was by the team.

I think the first 45 minutes is definitely up there with the best that we have played this season. There was the tempo of the passing, the tempo of the closing down, the workrate on the ball and off the ball, the crispness and the interchange of passes which led to the first goal. That was a fantastic move and well finished off by Chris Wood and I was delighted for him because he deserved that, he really did.


There were just so many good performances such as Stuart Dallas and Liam Bridcutt was excellent. He did everything that he was meant to do. He was stopping and winning every second ball, making tackles, stifling the play, he was exceptional but so was everybody and it’s very hard to pick one player when everybody executed their jobs to perfection.

If we are going to play with that 4-5-1 formation then it’s vital that you get the support up to Wood quickly and that’s what they did on Saturday. In the first 45 minutes Dallas was latching on to everything that Chris Wood brought down and it’s very important to get that support if you are playing one up front and one holding midfielder. It’s vitally important that support is quick and timed to perfection and we did that.

We saw more of Dallas getting forward than we have ever done and that’s the sort of thing we want from him. We know he can work back, we know he’s got a great workrate but we just want to see more of him going forward and we definitely saw that.

We saw the quality of the ball in when he gets into the final third and if you get that quality in then goalscorers and strikers will score, and that’s exactly what happened. It’s all about the distribution of the cross and the execution from the striker and both were exceptional. The whole move was just a joy to watch.

With this pie tax protest you had a handful of people that walked out and that was it. Everyone else was there and whether we agree with what’s happened or not we’ve got to support the team. That’s what we are there to do, to support the manager and the team that have gone out there to play and when they are playing like that who’s going to walk out?!

There was also the news about Sam Byram rejecting the contract offer and I think that was the final offer. We’ve matched his wage that he is on now supposedly just for him to sign it and get him back playing and give him that security of another year. And that still doesn’t mean you can’t be bought or sold, you can put clauses in any contract.

For me, it’s a shame, and if it was me I would have signed it just so I am playing football again and then being out there putting myself in the shop window. When you are sitting on the bench you are not doing yourself any favours. But I know Sam is a good lad and I know he is trying to do what’s best for his future because it’s a very short career in football.

And maybe something is lined up for him that we don’t know about? But for me it’s a matter of signing what you are on now for another year and putting clauses in there just to get you back playing and I’d have gone with that.

They’ve been to him with that offer, he’s rejected it and now it’s done and dusted.

It is what it is and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

As for the rumours from last week, I very much doubt that the whole squad is ‘up for sale.’

You could be Manchester City – if Barcelona come in and offer 200 million for one of your players then everyone is for sale!

It doesn’t matter whether it’s Leeds United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, every player is always for sale at the right amount of money.

But we want to keep the players that we’ve got and it would be a very, very big offer to sell any of our players on the account of Saturday’s game.