Noel Whelan has urged Leeds United fans to get “nasty” and whip up an atmosphere to intimidate Derby County in Wednesday’s play-off semi-final showdown.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker and lifelong fan is keen for one of English football’s most hostile arenas to live up to its reputation for the club’s biggest home match in years.
Leeds host Derby at Elland Road for the second leg of the double header with a 1-0 advantage secured from Kemar Roofe’s goal in Saturday’s Pride Park clash.
“I want a nasty atmosphere,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Make it raucous, make it hostile, scare them, make them know what stadium they are in.
“Let’s see if they can handle the pressure. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s when I played it was really intimidating coming to Elland Road. Make it that kind of atmosphere – taunt the opposition, make the Derby players feel on edge.
“Obviously, do it in the right way and nothing illegal or unpleasant like coin throwing. Use every advantage you’ve got and the fans and stadium is in Leeds’ favour, just like Anfield was for Liverpool against Barcelona last week.”
Leeds are well placed to secure a place in the play-off final, which takes place at Wembley on Monday, 27 May.
Marcelo Bielsa’s wide will face the winners of Aston Villa or West Brom in the final if they overcome Derby on Wednesday night.