Unseen Leeds United dressing room battle epitomises club motto as defender reveals he nearly threw up

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Leeds United full-back Junior Firpo says he nearly threw up on the pitch during the second half of Leeds' 4-3 win over Middlesbrough on Monday night but completed 90 minutes at the Riverside Stadium despite feeling under the weather.

The Dominican Republic international picked up a further two assists, taking his already impressive tally since the turn of the year to seven. His first of the evening came during a five-goal first half, whipping an inviting cross into the penalty area for centre-forward Patrick Bamford, who glanced the ball beyond a hesitant Seny Dieng to put Leeds in front.

"I think with Patrick it's a really good relationship," he said. "We know each other really, really good. And we talk a lot during the week when I get the ball in certain places where he has to go and I think today we show it."

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Firpo's second assist demonstrated the progressive side to his attacking game, surging onto the ball in the middle of the park and driving Leeds forward before threading Championship Player of the Season Crysencio Summerville in down the left. Still with plenty to do, the Dutchman shifted the ball onto his right foot and made the net bulge from the edge of the penalty area to put United two goals to the good, before Emmanuel Latte Lath's late header made for a nerve-jangling finale.

The 27-year-old revealed at full-time he had been suffering with a fever over the weekend and was not the only member of the squad not quite feeling 100 per cent.

"I've been with a fever [for] three days, I've been ill today, a few lads were feeling the same, we have a little bit illness in the squad," Firpo added. "This shows how important it is to be ready, everyone was ready. Everyone was living everything, including myself, including Jaidon [Anthony] who was ill.

"As I say a few lads were ill, including myself, I was about to throw up in the second half. It was tough."

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Anthony was a second half substitute, brought on to freshen up some tired legs in the Leeds attack that had contributed significantly to the result. The 24-year-old has battled personal tragedy this season with the passing of his late mother, but made himself available in the immediate aftermath and has been a regular fixture from the substitutes' bench under Daniel Farke, making 29 Championship appearances.

Leeds take to the field again on Friday night away to Queens Park Rangers in their penultimate fixture of the season. Firpo is under no illusions the type of opponent Leeds are expected to meet at Loftus Road with the R's still not mathematically safe from relegation to League One.

"I think we have to try to control a little bit more the games because the last two games will be pretty tough, I think more or less the same. Every team that we play now, especially QPR, maybe they don't play for nothing so they come with confidence and are the team who are fighting for their lives, so we have to show that we are the better team."

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