Exclusive: Danny Mills suggests why 'Old fashioned' Leeds star is safe from axe despite critics
Danny Mills says that Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa appears to appreciate Jack Harrison’s hard work and defensive contribution but insists the winger cannot escape criticism for poor performances.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds and England full-back suggests that the reason the Manchester City loanee is starting games ahead of Helder Costa is thanks to his understanding of the manager’s demands in the starting XI, bringing an “old fashioned” style of play to the side.
Costa, a summer signing from Wolves, has appeared in every single one of Leeds’ Championship fixtures this season but not one of those has come in the starting line up, with Harrison and Pablo Hernandez Bielsa’s first-choice pairing out wide.
Mills suggests that his contribution at both ends of the pitch is helping keep the Englishman, who has come under fire in recent weeks for his lack of quality in the final third, in the starting XI.
Asked if the criticism of Harrison was harsh, Mills told Football Insider: “No, not really. When you’re at a club the size of Leeds United – undoubtedly biggest in the Championship and bigger than some Premier League sides as well – with that comes pressure and expectation. You can expect to come under criticism.
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“When you look at him, he gets up and down, good left foot and gets crosses into the box. He’s more an old fashioned winger, gets up and down, keep wide, whip balls into the box.
“Bielsa likes the fact Jack Harrison’s reliable, he’s going to help out his full-back, lots of energy and understands the way that Bielsa wants to play.”
Harrison, who rejoined Leeds from Manchester City on a second-successive loan spell over the summer, has played a total of 52 times for the Whites, scoring five goals and contributing four assists.
However, he has contributed just one goal in his 10 outings this season, coming on the opening day of the season against Bristol City.