Exclusive: Whelan reveals Leeds 'Hurt & disappointment' after recent events
Noel Whelan insisted the “hurt and disappointment” of last season is driving Leeds United to promotion.
The former Elland Road forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, believes United are better equipped to handle the pressure than the clubs around them after their previous experiences.
A 2-0 victory against Huddersfield propelled Marcelo Bielsa’s side to the summit of the Championship and more importantly seven points ahead of third-placed Fulham.
Whelan believes the heartbreak of last season’s play-off defeat to Derby County has given the squad the experience to go one step further this year.
“Every team that is fighting for the automatic promotion spots will be feeling the pressure,” he told Football Insider.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“It is how you handle the pressure and that is the difference with Leeds.
“I was worried when they were going through the blip but now they are playing with a smile on their face and they are producing. I keep saying do not worry about other people, concentrate on your own house. Leeds United are right now and dealing with it very well.
“I do not feel as nervous about it because they have something more in their locker and that is the experience of last season. Other clubs do not have that, they do not know what it is like to have that disappointment. That is invaluable.
“That feeling of hurt and disappointment can spur you on in the final weeks.”
With nine games remaining the Whites only need six more victories to see them promoted back to the top flight of English football for the first time since 2004.
A trip to Cardiff on Sunday is followed by the arrival of Fulham to Elland Road in what could prove to be a pivotal fortnight in the promotion race.
In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider fans’ favourite should quite club this summer.