Noel Whelan insisted that Pablo Hernandez’s influence at Leeds United is similar to what Roy Keane once had at Man United.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds striker claimed that the 35-year-old raises his teammates’ levels when he is on the pitch.

Hernandez scored an 89th minute winner against Swansea on Sunday to put six points between the Whites and third-placed Brentford with just three games to play.

Marcelo Bielsa has brought the Spaniard on at half-time in the last two games to devastating effect with a marked difference after his introduction in both.

Whelan hailed the “special” player and compared him to his former teammate and Elland Road legend Gordon Strachan as well as Man United idol Roy Keane.

“The urgency was not there until we introduced Pablo,” he told Football Insider. “He added energy.

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“Pablo is such an influence on the players and he set the precedent in the second half.

“When he gets on the ball they have to do things quicker because they know that he does everything quicker. He sees things quicker so they need to be alert and on their toes.

“He has an influence like Gordon Strachan. He has a special gift. He just has a presence, very much like Roy Keane and very much like Gordon Strachan, he commands respect. He is a driving force for everyone else around him.”

Strachan captained the Whites to the First Division title in 1991-92.

Hernandez has scored eight goals and provided a further seven assists this season despite missing periods through injury.

In other Leeds United news, Kevin Phillips reacts as club reportedly line up swoop for £40million striker.

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