By Alex Stevens
Leeds ended a four-match run without a win by beating Birmingham 2-1 in the Championship at St Andrews on Tuesday night.
Two goals from winger Stuart Dallas, one in either half, secured the three points for Steve Evans’ side as they produced one of their best displays of the season.
Dallas out the visitors in front after 11 minutes with a smashed finish into the bottom corner following excellent play from Football League Young Player of the Year nominee Lewis Cook.
Dallas added a second five minutes into the second half when he chested down a pass and then leathered in from 20 yards.
Clayton Donaldson pulled a goal back for Birmingham shortly afterwards but Leeds held on to secure a first win in five matches despite substitute Alex Mowatt receiving a straight red in added time.
Whelan told BBC Radio Leeds: “That victory was massively needed, especially on the back of Burnley where we played well.
“We carried on in the first 45 minutes from the way they played at Burnley. Stuart Dallas was exceptional tonight but Leeds do make things difficult for themselves.
“We dominated the game and what they showed in the second half is that they can dig in and work hard.
“We showed good character on both sides of the fence today. All in all, it’s a win, and that’s what we were looking for.”
— Leeds United (@LUFC) April 12, 2016
Dallas’ double came after he had scored just two goals in his previous 39 Championship appearances this season, 33 of which he had started.
Whelan was particularly impressed the combination play by Cook and Dallas for the opener.
“It was lovely play by Lewis Cook to get the ball down the right and then Stuart Dallas turns, gets it out of his feet and it’s a lovely shot from outside the box and into the bottom corner,” he told BBC Radio Leeds.
“We’ve seen a Leeds United team do things with purpose, whether that’s closing down or moving the ball quickly.”
In other Leeds news, Evans has explained why he thinks Cook is better than Moussa Dembele.