Noel Whelan was blown away by Barry Douglas’ performance on Saturday as Leeds United moved one step closer to promotion with victory at Ewood Park.

The former Whites and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the 30-year-old could start against Stoke City on Thursday even if Stuart Dallas is fit to return.

An injury to Dallas in the midweek draw against Luton Town presented an opportunity for Douglas to make just his fifth league start of the season and his first since 11 January.

However, he gave an assured performance as Marcelo Bielsa’s side beat Blackburn Rovers 3-1 to maintain their six point advantage over Brentford in the race for automatic promotion.

Whelan claimed Bielsa faces a selection dilemma ahead of Thursday’s game against Stoke City with Stuart Dallas expected to be fit to start.

“Barry Douglas, considering it was only his second start in a Leeds shirt this season, his performance was excellent,” he told Football Insider.

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“He has been hampered with injuries but on Saturday he proved why we bought him.

“Marcelo Bielsa has got a headache now because there was nice balance with Alioski and Douglas on the left hand side.

“Douglas put himself in contention to finish the season in that position but that is not taking anything away from Stuart Dallas who has had a fantastic season. He is probably my Player of the Season as well.”

Bielsa, when speaking on the absent Dallas and Helder Costa, said: “They were close to playing today.

“We will see if they can play on Thursday.”

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that club is in line for multi-million Augustin payment in fresh twist.

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