By Noel Whelan

24th Feb, 2020 | 2:16pm

'Fantastic' - Exclusive: Whelan drools over 'Standout' Leeds ace who has a 'Certain gift'

Noel Whelan claims Pablo Hernandez is the player Leeds United look to when they need a goal because of “a certain gift” he possesses over anyone else.

The former United and Coventry forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, insisted the 34-year-old will “be key” in the push from promotion this season because of his quality and experience.

Hernandez scored the only goal of the game as Marcelo Bielsa’s side beat Reading at Elland Road to go five points clear of third-placed Fulham after they drew with Derby County on Friday night.

The winger had come under criticism for his performances since Christmas but his goal helps tighten the White’s grip on the automatic promotion spots.

When asked for his assessment of the Spaniard’s display at Elland Road, Whelan told Football Insider: “We asked for more from Pablo Hernandez and he was key to unlocking the door.

“He seemed in a better mood and in the end, he produced the goal that won the game. It was a fantastic finish. We know it is going to be a difficult 12 games left – he will be key. We need that performance every single week from Hernandez.

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“There is always one standout player with a certain gift and that bit of quality that others do not possess and that is Pablo.

“He has shown over the years how important he is to Leeds United. We need him back to his best, he has not hit the heights of last season but he came up with the goods on Saturday and he needed that.” 

The goal was Hernandez’s fifth of the season having also contributed four assists in 25 appearances in the Championship this campaign.

On Wednesday the promotion hopefuls will travel to Middlesborough to face Jonathan Woodgate side who are winless in eight.

In other Leeds United news,  Darren Bent has told Football Insider latest update is a ‘big concern’ for Marcelo Bielsa.