Leeds United and Sunderland earned a share of the spoils in the Championship on Saturday afternoon with a 1-1 draw at Elland Road.
And it was a huge game for one player in particular, Paudie O’Connor, who was handed his debut for the Whites courtesy of Paul Heckingbottom, stepping up from the U23s.
The youth team player only came into the side in light of Matthew Pennington’s injury and was immediately put under pressure by Chris Coleman’s team.
After the game, Whites stopper Bailey Peacock-Farrell took to Twitter to congratulate the Limerick-born 20-year-old after his display in the centre-back role against the Black Cats, giving him the big thumbs up.
Peacock-Farrell, himself a product of the U23s, wrote on his official social media feed: “Massive congrats to @Paudie97 great debut.”
Massive congrats to @Paudie97 great debut 👏🏼
— B Peacock-Farrell (@bailey_pf) April 7, 2018
Football Insider verdict:
O’Connor is a product of the club’s highly-rated U23 side which the manager regularly feeds off as he searches to find his strongest XI players. Despite a shaky start in the heart of defence where the 20-year-old featured alongside Pontus Jansson, the Irishman grew in strength and despite not making the role his, he certainly gave Heckingbottom food for thought. The manager himself was pleased with the Limerick-born defender’s display and praised the player post-match.
In other Leeds United news, Coleman delivers verdict on Berardi red card and hails ‘incredible’ Whites player.