Noel Whelan heaped praise on Ian Poveda for his debut cameo against Cardiff City despite Leeds United slipping to defeat on their Championship return.

The former Leeds and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, tipped the 20-year-old to “make a difference” to Marcelo Bielsa’s side after his long-awaited first game since his January arrival.

Poveda replaced Helder Costa in the 77th minute and looked a threat when involved but ultimately failed to help the Whites back into the game.

 

Leeds found themselves a goal down shortly before half-time – an uncharacteristic misplaced pass from Kalvin Phillips allowed Junior Hoilett to open the scoring for the hosts.

Robert Glatzel added a second mid-way through the second-half as Leeds struggled to create any clear cut opportunities despite dominating possession.

When asked by Football Insider for his assessment of Ian Poveda’s performance, Whelan said: “He looked sharp, quick feet, confident on the ball, great technique and a lot of pace.

“That was a positive and it was good to see him out there on the field.

“It was the first time we got a glimpse of him and what he has to offer. He showed good composure so it was a decent start for him.

“Helder Costa has a little bit more quality over Poveda and during the run-in his experience will be vital.

“But what it did show is that we have somebody there that can be that spark and make a difference if needed.”

The final score was 2-0 and the result meant Leeds drop to second as West Brom shared a goalless draw with Birmingham on Saturday.

The Whites return to Elland Road next Saturday to face promotion rivals Fulham.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED the club are braced for a near-£50million flurry of new signings.

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