Noel Whelan delivers instant verdict on Leeds draw against Nottingham Forest
By Alex Stevens
Noel Whelan paid tribute to the togetherness created by Garry Monk after Leeds returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night.
Former Elland Road striker Whelan was impressed by the intensity of the performance of Monk’s team and hailed the team spirit that was exemplified by the celebration of the players, substitutes and staff when Chris Wood broke the deadlock.
“You have the right leaders, managers, personnel and teammates at this club. That celebration, you have to be a part of this club to do that, and they all are. There are no cliques,” said Whelan on BBC Radio Leeds, as quoted by the BBC Leeds live blog of the match.
Second-half goals from Wood and Souleymane Doukara sealed the points for Garry Monk’s side and lifted them back to third in the table.
Leading scorer Wood opened the scoring after 54 minutes with his 2oth goal of what is becoming a remarkable season for player and club, and the re-born Doukara that scored a goal of the season contender with a sensational volley from his first touch after coming on as a second-half substitute.
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BBC radio pundit Whelan believes the performance against Forest, managed by caretaker Gary Brazil, was in stark contrast to the weekend 3-2 defeat to Barnsley at Oakwell.
“Against Barnsley we were languid, let them close us down,” added Whelan on the BBC Radio Leeds blog. “It was the reverse tonight. We were playing with such an intensity, such purpose in the closing down – Leeds were not letting them look up, do anything.
“There is a pride in winning games, in keeping clean sheets, as a team. Players have that grit between their teeth and have the fans behind them, urging them on.
“They’re at a great club with a great history – and now it’s time for them to start making their own. There is a different mentality now. Leeds do grind teams down, do hurt them.”
Leeds made three changes to the side that lost 3-2 to Barnsley at the weekend with Pontus Jansson, Eunan O’Kane and Stuart Dallas replacing Lewie Coyle, Ronaldo Vieira and Souleymane Doukara.
It paid dividends as the Yorkshire giants secured their 16th win from 28 Championship matches this season.
In other Leeds news, there has been a finale in a major deal after a £7million bid was tabled.