Leeds United: Wingers would be just the tonic to fuel automatic promotion bid – Noel Whelan

Lewis Cook
Lewis Cook
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CHRIS WOOD’s late winner at Derby County on Saturday was just pure ecstasy.

You’re just hoping and we’ve been waiting for this but it’s been coming, that’s for sure.

But when it comes against a team like Derby it gives you more confidence because they’re going to be up there at the end of the season and people are tipping them for promotion.

But I think we’ve gone there and bar 20 minutes at the start of the second half we’ve just dominated the game.

People talk about their footballing ability but we completely out-passed them.

I look at our lads in midfield – Lewis Cook, Mowatt, Byram and Adeyemi and I think we passed them to death at times.

It just shows what good players we have in our team.

Without a shadow of a doubt we can be as good as anyone in this division.

When I looked at the team sheets – when I looked at ours and then at Derby’s I thought ‘no’ our team is more than capable of beating Derby County and it looks a better team on paper.

I just look at our team now and if we can keep them all fit then the strength we have in the team is just fantastic.

And I just think that when we are playing football like that, free flowing football, one touch in little triangles, we are unstoppable, we’re unplayable.

I do think that in that 20 minutes at the start of the second half they kind of let themselves down because at half-time Uwe Rosler would have been saying ‘look, there’s going to be a reaction.’

Paul Clement will have been in there giving them a right good rollicking and they were always going to come out fired up. We should have prepared ourselves and I do think we were a little bit naive and didn’t really combat that when they came out. They were warned twice with two shots outside the area in the first two minutes and then the third shot nestled into the bottom corner.

We were under the cosh but fair play to the lads, they saw out a few hairy moments and you’ve got to do that in games.

Come to the latter stages of the game, that’s where our fitness showed once again and we looked more like scoring.

We’d also learned from Bristol because we took the ball into the area, we spoiled the game for the last four or five minutes and they have taken on board what happened to them at Bristol which is good to see.

It’s early doors in the season but winning at Derby gives you a massive good bench-mark of realistically where we think we should be if we can go there to the iPro and beat Derby County – and I still think we’re a better team than them.

Everyone seems to be raving about your Derby County’s and your Middlesbrough’s but I’d like to be that silent team that just keeps drifting away, that’s just ticking away nicely and all of a sudden you are there at the end.

But I definitely think that you’ve got to set your sights on automatic promotion to the Premier and if it’s not automatic then you’re in the mix then for the play-offs.

But you’ve got to set your sights on automatic – you can’t just settle for play-offs.

With the team we’ve got down there now we are making ourselves harder to beat and we’ve now got strikers and a very happy environment at Leeds United within the players and coaching staff in and around the game.

That makes a hell of a lot of difference.

It’s transfer deadline day on Tuesday and there’s talk of two wingers coming in, one of which looks like being Jordan Botaka from Excelsior and I think that’s what we need.

I think that’s where we are kind of lacking.

We’ve got an abundance of midfield talent in the central areas and we’ve got strikers that can come on and play in Erwin and Antenucci whether that be two upfront or one upfront.

Centre-halves we have got cover for and at right-back Byram can drop in if need be if Berardi is injured and we do have cover in and around those areas.

But I think if we are going to play the diamond or a 4-4-2 then we do need cover out wide because if we get Byram or Dallas injured then we are playing somebody out of position.

I do think those areas are crucial for Leeds United this season – that we’ve got back up.

I’m sure the scouting network have done their homework and watched these players and we’ll be going for players that will improve the team. And the good thing is if they do sign before the deadline they have got two weeks to get to know their team-mates and have training sessions with them before the next game against Brentford.