By Alex Stevens

Steve Evans has backed Stuart Dallas to be a “big, big player” for Leeds after the winger’s double steered Leeds to a 2-1 win at Birmingham.

A goal in either half from the 24-year-old secured the three points for Evans’ side in the Championship clash on Tuesday night as they produced what the manager claimed was the best display during his Elland Road tenure.

Dallas put 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.

“I said to Stuart if he continues to watch me in training now that I’ve lost my weight, he’s got a chance,” former striker Evans joked after the match to Leeds United TV.

“The two goals were special goals. We worked on freeing up players into pockets of play. Stuart did that [for the first goal], turned and it was a great strike – no goalkeeper saves that one.

“As for his second one, if there’s no net there, it’s on its way to Yorkshire. It’s a magnificent strike.”

Dallas’ double came after he had scored just two goals in his previous 39 Championship appearances this season, 33 of which he had started.

Evans is convinced there is much more to come from the Northern Irishman.

“I don’t think any goalkeeper on the planet could have stopped Stuart’s second strike,” Evans told BBC Leeds. “He’s an honest boy who takes things to heart and he will be a big, big player for this club.”

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.

Leeds cemented their position of 15th in the Championship, four points clear of 16th placed Blackburn.

In other Leeds news, Evans has explained why he thinks Cook is better than Moussa Dembele.