Sky Sports pundit David Prutton has looked ahead to Leeds United’s upcoming Championship clash on Wednesday night and spoke of a “massive boost” for Elland Road head coach Marcelo Bielsa (Sky Sports).
Leeds have got back on track following a huge downturn in form this year, with two league wins in a row for an unbeaten run of three games, and currently sit five points clear of third-placed Fulham in the table.
After claiming a 1-1 draw at Brentford, the Whites ran out 1-0 winners over Bristol City at Elland Road, courtesy of Luke Ayling’s first-half winner.
At the weekend, Leeds then claimed the same scoreline against Reading, with Pablo Hernandez back to his best with a superb second-half effort.
Aside from the victories and points gained, both games saw Kiko Casilla claim clean sheets, putting his error against the Bees firmly behind him.
Looking ahead to Leeds’ trip to Middlesbrough on Wednesday, Prutton praised the Whites for having stabilished since the Brentford draw and praised Casilla’s two consecutive shutouts.
I’d imagine Jonathan Woodgate will be desperate for this season to end,” the former Leeds ace wrote on Sky Sports. “It’s been a real rollercoaster for Boro this term and they are within touching distance of the drop zone at the time of speaking so this is an important week on Teesside.
“Leeds seem to have stabilised since that draw with Brentford earlier in the month and the fact under-fire goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has kept back-to-back clean sheets will be a massive boost for Marcelo Bielsa. Away win, for me.”
Prutton makes a great point – Casilla has come under fire on numerous occasions this season due to a couple of errors, but both his teammates and manager Bielsa have stuck by him in face of criticism, and his back-to-back clean sheets will be a boost for everyone in the Leeds camp.
Illan Meslier might have been impressing at reserve level for Leeds but he is still fairly young and raw, so Bielsa is likely unwilling to throw him in at the deep end in the Whites first team unless absolutely necessary, given the incredibly high stakes at hand.