By Noel Whelan

11th Feb, 2020 | 5:30pm

'Massive' - Exclusive: Whelan excited by 'huge plus' for Leeds tonight

Noel Whelan has claimed that having Kalvin Phillips back in the side will be “massive” for Leeds United when they face Brentford on Tuesday night. 

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Elland Road striker suggested that nobody else in Marcelo Bielsa’s squad can fulfil the 24-year-old’s role in the side like he can.

The defensive midfielder has been serving a three match ban after receiving a late red card in the 1-0 defeat to QPR last month.

And Whelan believes that his return could be crucial when the Whites square up against Brentford tomorrow evening.

When asked how significant Phillips could prove to be against the Bees, he told Football Insider: “Massive.

“We desperately miss Kalvin because no other player can play that role like he can.

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“Saying that, there have been too many players with below par performances. We’ve gone from being the best defensive team in the Championship to conceding so many goals now. We just can’t afford to do that.

“Kalvin will be a huge plus.

“That will give a lot of confidence to the rest of the team, but they’re going up against a Brentford side who are steamrolling over teams at the minute and scoring for fun.”

Bielsa’s men have recorded one win and two defeats since Phillips’ ban came into effect, including a loss to Nottingham Forest on Saturday that made it one win in five for the promotion hopefuls.

That poor run has seen the chasing pack close the gap on the Whites, and they now occupy an automatic promotion spot on goal difference alone, knowing that another defeat on Tuesday could see them fall as far as fifth before they are next in action.

In other Leeds United news, ‘His body language is terrible’ – Whelan claims Leeds stars ‘fearful’ of one teammate.