Not even ‘Spy­gate’ can over­shadow Leeds’s mas­sive state­ment of in­tent

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - LEON WOBSCHALL

AMID all the post-match talk of ‘Spy­gate’, it was per­haps lost upon many that Leeds United also de­liv­ered a firm state­ment of in­tent in Fri­day night’s im­pres­sive vic­tory over Cham­pi­onship ri­vals Derby County.

On a high-stakes oc­ca­sion when lead­ers Leeds – beaten in their pre­vi­ous three matches in all com­pe­ti­tions – were un­der as much pre-match pres­sure as they have been at any point dur­ing a pretty seam­less sea­son the hosts re­asserted their pro­mo­tion cre­den­tials with a pol­ished win.

Winger Jack Har­ri­son firmly be­lieves that the 2-0 tri­umph will have also sent a mes­sage out to their Cham­pi­onship ri­vals in the process.

The loa­nee, who scored his first goal at El­land Road, said: “That is what we set out to do be­fore the game, make an im­pres­sion after hav­ing con­sec­u­tive (league) losses.

“We knew we had to bounce back and make an im­pres­sion to the rest of the league and I think we did that with the way that we played and with our team per­for­mance.

“Ob­vi­ously we can im­prove on bits here and there, but I think we showed the league what we are about and that we are more than ca­pa­ble of bounc­ing back from losses.”

Star of the show on Fri­day was un­doubt­edly teenage winger Jack Clarke, who con­firmed his sta­tus as one of the hottest young prospects in English foot­ball by set­ting up both goals in a vir­tu­oso show­ing.

On the stel­lar im­pact of the York-born player, who only turned 18 in Novem­ber, Har­ri­son added: “He is a bril­liant young player.

“I think he only gets bet­ter ev­ery time he plays as well and he gets more and more con­fi­dent. That is mas­sive as a player and as he is young, he has got that con­fi­dence now and he is play­ing.

“It is al­most as if noth­ing can stop him.

“He has been do­ing re­ally well for the team, adding a lot and you saw what he is ca­pa­ble of against Derby and I am sure he will keep on im­prov­ing.”

Leeds are poised to com­plete the sign­ing of Real Madrid goal­keeper Kiko Casilla, 32, this week.

The Whites are ready to buy Casilla out of the fi­nal 18 months of his con­tract at Madrid.

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