Whelan explains Rodrigo transformation at Leeds after dressing room reveal
Noel Whelan has hailed Rodrigo for grabbing an “important” winner for Leeds United against Norwich despite his struggles in front of goal.
The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Spaniard’s penalty equaliser against Wolves last week has “inspired” the 30-year-old.
As quoted by Leeds Live (2nd November), Marcelo Bielsa suggested there has been somewhat of a crisis of confidence in the Whites dressing room because of recent results.
Rodrigo netted the crucial goal as Leeds United defeated Norwich 2-1, firing past Tim Krul from long range to restore the Whites’ lead.
The Spain international has been forced to lead the line in the injury absence of Patrick Bamford and has now scored in back-to-back games after going goalless in his first seven.
Whelan insisted could “thrive” in the Leeds United spotlight after regaining his goalscoring touch.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“The penalty last week probably inspired the confidence to take that shot on,” he told Football Insider.
“When you’re a striker and you’ve not managed to score all season, sometimes you need that penalty, tap-in, or deflection to give you the belief.
“That is what strikers thrive on and that’s when you get the best out of them – when they believe and trust in their ability, as Rodrigo did against Norwich when he took the shot on.
“I don’t think he takes that shot on if he doesn’t score the penalty.
“He’s got the winner in that game, which caps off an important result for us despite the performance being not quite at the level we wanted.”
Rodrigo signed for Leeds United for a reported £27million last summer.
He has netted just nine goals for the club in 40 appearances.