By Harvey Byrne
Former Livingston boss Allan Preston has claimed that Robert Snodgrass’ move to Leeds saved his career.
The 29-year-old transferred to Elland Road in 2008 from the Scottish club and helped the Yorkshire giants move from League One to the Championship during his four-year stay at the club.
He earned a £3million move to Premier League side Norwich from Leeds before joining Hull in the top flight two years later for £6million.
However, his career hasn’t always been plain sailing and former boss Preston has claimed that the tricky winger could have fallen out of the game due to off the field problems.
“As a kid at 17 he had a real natural ability and was a brilliant talent,” said Preston to the Daily Mail.
“But he could have been lost to the game because of the things happening off the field. The best thing that happened to him was going down to Leeds because it got him away from things in his life away from football. He was mixing with the wrong influence and hanging about the wrong people.
“There was nothing malicious about him, but he was getting into the things that 16 and 17-year-olds do – and the things that players playing in the Premier League can’t do. It was beginning to affect his career. But we’ve all played with players at a young level whose ability was second to none – but who chose the wrong path.
“He should be an inspiration to other young boys who could go one way or another and choose the right or wrong path,” he added.
Snodgrass was brought to Leeds by then manager Gary McAllister.
The Scotland international built a good relationship with Jermaine Beckford, Fabian Delph and Jonny Howson at the club, turning the Yorkshire side into a force in League One.
Snodgrass starred in 191 encounters during his time at Elland Road, scoring 41 goals.
He has started the new Premier League campaign in impressive form at Hull scoring three goals in the Tigers’ first five games alongside bagging a hat-trick for Scotland against Malta last week.
In other Leeds transfer news, Garry Monk asked chiefs to secure the sale of Sol Bamba before the transfer deadline at the end of last month.