Alan Hutton has tipped Leeds United to do “something special” next season after sorting out their defensive problems this term.
The former Aston Villa full-back, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Whites had learned how to balance attack and defence after a goal-filled start back in the Premier League.
Leeds conceded a combined 11 goals and picked up one point against Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United earlier this season.
However, in the recent reverse fixtures, the Whites shipped just two goals and sealed five points against the Premier League giants.
They also managed to keep a clean sheet against Manchester United, having conceded six at Old Trafford in December.
Hutton suggested a mix of having a full-strength squad plus more Premier League experience had led to the Whites’ turnaround.
As such, he tipped Leeds to make more waves in the top flight next term.
Asked what he thought had changed at Elland Road, Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “I think not being so gung ho. They’ve realised you can defend and they’re very good at counter-attacking.
“They’ve got that pace and got the stamina to go for the full 90-plus minutes. As well, getting the likes of Llorente back in and playing.
“They had a back four of a couple of wingers and two full-backs at centre half. It was always going to be difficult, they conceded a lot of goals from set-plays.
“That’s because the back four wasn’t right. I think now, they’re settling down, they’re settling into it.
“Yes, they still play exciting football but defensively, they’re just stronger, they’re just better at what they’re doing. They’re getting used to the league, I think.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing Leeds next season because I think they could kick on. With the right sort of backing and maybe players coming in, they could definitely kick on and do something special.”