'The totemic leader': David Prutton delivers verdict on Jansson display for Leeds v Newcastle
By Matt Farr
David Prutton has praised Pontus Jansson for his heroic defensive display during Leeds’ 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Friday night.
The 26-year-old was always in the right place at the right time for the visiting side, making a number of crucial challenges and interceptions to deny Newcastle in front of goal.
However, his efforts looked to be in vain before Leeds hitman Chris Wood slotted home in the final minute of the game to reward Leeds with a hard-fought point.
Speaking live on Sky Sports 1’s coverage of the game, Prutton commended Jansson for his defensive display, hailing him as ‘the totemic leader’ that Leeds have been looking for.
He said: “He was fantastic. We look at the fact that he picks up a lot of bookings, but if you look at the stature of the man, you look at the positioning of him as a defender, the bravery he’s got.
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“I think he’s very much the totemic leader at the back of this team that they’ve needed for quite a long time, to be honest with you.
“The partnership between himself and Kyle Bartley is the absolute bedrock of what the team is built on going forward. The fact that he does give away a lot of yellow cards, 14 now, he is going to need to manage it so carefully.
Jansson has been an ever-present member of the Leeds back-four this season, earning 33 appearances in all competitions, contributing three goals and three assists.
His excellent displays during an initial loan spell at Elland Road has earned him a permanent transfer to the club from Italian outfit Torino, but the biggest concern is his aggressive streak.
The Sweden international has already missed key Championship games this season through suspension, and runs the risk of invoking another ban if he is not careful in the coming weeks.
Leeds are far from home and dry in the promotion race, and as one of the club’s key players, could be a big blow to their ambitions if he were to be ruled out.
The draw leaves Leeds in fourth place in the Championship with four games remaining, however, they boast only a three point lead over seventh-placed Fulham.
In other Leeds news, Andrea Radrizzani has posted a Twitter message following the stalemate.