By Noel Whelan

23rd Feb, 2020 | 9:00am

'Not hit the heights' - Exclusive: Whelan tears into Leeds fan fave who starred v Reading

Noel Whelan has torn into Leeds United maestro Pablo Hernandez for not performing at his highest levels this season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Jason Jones, the former Leeds striker and lifelong fan of the club insists there is still at least “25 per cent” more to come from the Spaniard after his recent displays.

The 34-year-old stole the limelight at Elland Road on Saturday after firing home the one and only goal in the Whites’ win over Reading, a result which pushes them five points clear of Fulham in third.

However, Whelan has been critical of the fan favourite, insisting he has been a long way off his usual high standards during what has been a turbulent couple of weeks for the club.

“These sort of bigger players need to stand up now and take the game by the scruff of the neck,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“Pablo Hernandez, the experience and the quality that he has, he’s not the heights of the last couple of season, he’s not playing to his maximum capabilities.

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“We know there’s still another 25 per cent in that kid. We have to be asking more of certain players, to be more influential on the game for longer.”

Hernandez has seen two separate injury problems curtail his campaign so far, with a total of 25 appearances, five goals and four assists under his belt.

He has played a total of 147 times for the Whites since moving to Elland Road, with 41 of those coming last season during Marcelo Bielsa’s first year in charge.

In other Leeds United news, Whelan has blasted another Marcelo Bielsa favourite whose confidence has been shot.