'Likes to play to the crowd' - Noel Whelan slams Leeds star's attitude v Wednesday

By Russell Edge

Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has blasted the attitude of defender Pontus Jansson after his display against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.

The Swedish international was disappointing for Thomas Christiansen’s side as he watched Gary Hooper score twice in the first half on the way to a 3-0 win.

His afternoon came to an abrupt end in the second half after he was stretchered off the pitch following a hefty collision with team mate Kalvin Phillips.

The incident has forced him to be removed from his country’s international squad for their World Cup qualifiers, instead remaining with the club to assess the damage caused.

However, despite his injury concerns, Whelan has not held back in his criticism of the 26-year-old, questioning whether he has the mental resilience to succeed at the club.

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Speaking on BBC Radio Leeds post-match (01/10, 14:10) he said: “You’ve got to stand up, you’ve got to be that leader.

“He likes to play to the crowd when you’re winning – you need those characters when things are down to be your talisman as well when the chips are down.

“That’s mental toughness, we can’t be having too many weak players in this side.

“You can’t always be the focal figure when you’ve won three points, you’ve got to stand there and see the game out and try and change it.”

This season has seen Jansson make nine appearances in the league out of a possible 11 for the Whites, with a total of 45 outings since arriving from Torino on an initial loan last season.

Leeds currently sit fifth in the Championship table, having led the pack last weekend, having suffered two successive disappointing defeats to Cardiff and Wednesday.

In other Leeds United news, here are three Whites player sweating over their first-team spots during the international break.

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