Heckingbottom has raved about two Leeds players in BBC interview

By Richard Parks
Paul Heckingbottom has spoken highly of Leeds United duo Samuel Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski this season in a clear signal they will be two key players during his tenure.
The newly-appointed United manager raved about the attacking midfield pair in the immediate aftermath of their 2-0 win at his former club Barnsley on 25 November.
In a match televised on Sky Sports, Alioski supplied the opener for Saiz after 23 minutes with an excellent through-ball and the Macedonian added the second on the brink of half-time with a brilliant curled strike into the bottom corner.
Heckingbottom, who quit Barnsley on Tuesday morning just four days after signing a new contract at the club, spoke highly on BBC Radio of the Leeds pair as he explained why defensive midfielder Joe Williams failed to track Saiz for the first goal.
“”He [Saiz] is a good player isn’t he. Nine times out of 10 if you ask Joe where he’s going to be then he’d be there [marking Leeds man] but then Saiz is just going stand somewhere else,” said Heckingbottom.
“The ball into him for the goal [from Alioski] was first class and that was the difference. Leeds showed that they got some quality players today.”
The former Tykes boss was clearly referring to Saiz and Alioski as the stand-out performers for United.
The Spaniard is currently serving a six-match ban for spitting and will be unavailable for Saturday’s Yorkshire derby against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane as Heckingbottom takes charge for the first time.
Alioski is in contention to figure and will be hoping to keep his place after starting 28 of Leeds’ 30 Championship matches this season, more than any other player.
In other Leeds United news, it can be revealed that Heckingbottom has emerged from a three-man shortlist.
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