Noel Whelan: This forward-thinking Leeds man was the difference v Birmingham (not Wood)
By Harvey Byrne
Noel Whelan has hailed Leeds youth graduate Kalvin Phillips as the difference in their Friday evening victory over Birmingham.
The 21-year-old midfielder was brought on with 59 minutes on the clock in what proved to be a very smart substitution by Garry Monk.
Leeds took the lead with a Chris Wood lobbed effort within the first 15 minutes of the match.
However, the Midlands side were bringing the game to the Yorkshire giants after that and they eventually equalised after 63 minutes via a sweet Craig Gardner strike.
It looked like it was going to be one of those nights for Leeds, but Phillips played a key role in his side’s victory as he assisted Wood’s second goal of the night before Alfonso Pedraza rounded up the scoring in the 3-1 win.
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Now, former Whites striker has identified the club youth graduate as the difference maker in their victory at St. Andrews, despite Wood bagging two goals himself.
“Possession doesn’t matter – it doesn’t win you games. To be honest, we probably gave them half of that possession with all our sloppy passes. It’s about taking chances,” told Whelan, as quoted by the BBC matchday blog (9.47pm).
“Phillips was the difference tonight and was so forward-thinking and forward-facing. I think once again, the table has been about us doing our job first. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t enjoyable to watch, but it got the job done.
“It keeps the gap from seventh there. Leeds are in control of their own destiny and will stay fourth no matter what Reading do.”
Phillips made his senior debut for Leeds in a 4-3 defeat against Wolves in 2015.
He has gone on to play in 43 matches for the club in total, bringing a return of just two goals and one assist.
With time still on his side fans will be hoping the midfield man shows more performances like the one against Birmingham in the future.
In other Leeds news, fans also reacted to Phillips’ display against Birmingham.