Leeds United: Three points and a clean sheet maintains momentum – Whelan

Preston goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saves a Chris Wood chance.
Preston goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saves a Chris Wood chance.
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LEEDS are on a great run at the minute.

It was a clean sheet against Preston and it’s three points that are on the board now.

Leeds are now getting a little bit of momentum and going on a good run into this busy Christmas period and they are fighting for each other.

And sometimes you are going to have games like yesterday’s where it’s going to be scruffy.

At the end of the day it’s about getting the points on the board and they have done that.

I think you have got to look at Marco Silvestri as he kept Leeds in the game – at the beginning of the game and then later when he was called upon, with some magnificent saves.

He just seems to be getting better and better.

With the change of formation, we kind of lost a little bit of momentum.

We were controlling the game and we were getting up the field a lot more but then all of a sudden we have made the change.

But it’s not a bad decision that Steve Evans has made and I’d have done the same thing, looking to get that second goal to kill the game off and take away anything that Preston had to offer.

It kind of went the other way as we lost a little bit of momentum and a little bit of shape in the midfield areas.

They started dominating and it looked like we were down to 10 men really rather than Preston, but we battled hard and fought for each other and you are going to get games like that.

It’s not down to the substitutions, it’s just one of those days where you don’t play great football but it’s about getting the wins.

We knew Preston wasn’t going to be an easy game as they have been on a good run in only losing once in 11 games.

They have shown why, because they have got a good spirit about them and they work hard and we had to match that.

But bear in mind we did play on Thursday as well so there was a lot of tired legs out there and when it gets to the latter stages of the game that’s going to be a factor and it is going to be a bit of a struggle for the players.

They kept their concentration levels and they limited the chances down for Preston but we do need to start putting more of our chances away.

We showed that on Thursday night at Wolves when we had a lot of good chances – one-on-ones with the keeper.

But with Chris Wood I need people to get off his back.

He was playing as a lone striker in the first half and our midfield was miles off in getting support up to him which made it very difficult. It’s not easy when you are playing the lone striker but he is turning a lot of bad balls into good balls but not getting the rewards of a goal.

But all the work that he does up front by himself, holding the ball, running the channels, bringing people into play, people have got to look at that as well. The bigger picture.

The goals will come for Chris Wood, there’s no doubt about it and maybe he just needs one of those that ricochets off his knee to get that confidence going in front of goal again.

But everything that is coming up to him he is doing his best with and he’s a massive part of Leeds United and the way we play. I don’t think any other striker at this club could play the role that he does and he needs to start getting a bit more credit for that.

Looking ahead to this week, I know the players are training at Thorp Arch on Christmas Day this week which is no different to when I was playing.

You come in on Christmas Day, you prepare and you are only in for an hour or so, two hours max.

But it’s a busy period in footballers’ calendars and you know what’s coming.

Games come thick and fast and that’s part of your job.

You do come in Christmas Day and you do train but then you will go back home and you will have time with your family and you will have your meal.

Steve Evans will manage the players and make sure they get to see their families as well but what’s important is that they get paid to do a job.

They need to come in, they need to go through the set-pieces and prepare for Sunday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.