Fired-up Leeds star sends strong message to promotion doubters

Stuart Dallas insists Leeds’ players won’t give up fighting to win promotion to the Premier League and has sent those expecting them to “fall apart” a convincing message.

The Whites missed a glorious chance to further their promotion ambitions on Saturday when Sheffield United claimed a 1-0 win at Elland Road to overtake Leeds in second place and leave the Whites relying on others to slip up in the race for automatic promotion.

United’s failure at a critical time of the season – there are now just eight games left to play in the Championship – left many supporters bringing out the old ‘Leeds are falling apart again’ rhetoric.

But a determined Dallas insists Leeds are in no mood to give up and said he has been relishing Leeds’ battle with Norwich and the Blades.

“It’s enjoyable,” Dallas, on duty with Northern Ireland, said. “If you don’t enjoy where we are you are playing the wrong game. You’d much rather be challenging for promotion than being in a dogfight at the bottom end of the table.

“We missed a chance last week (a 1-0 loss to Sheffield United) but we have eight games to go.

“We are under no illusions about how hard it’s going to be and everyone is capable of beating everyone else in that league.

“Everyone keeps thinking Leeds are going to blow up but I can assure you now we won’t.

“When you have something to fight for like a place in the Premier League you can’t give up.”

Dallas has found himself playing in several different positions both for club and country, often pushed back from the wing into a right-back role, but remained one of Northern Ireland’s most consistent players throughout last year’s frustrating Nations League campaign.

An injury has slowed him since then and cost him several months of Leeds’ promotion push but the 27-year-old feels ready to perform this week.

“It’s up to the manager but I’ll always give everything I have no matter where I play,” he said of United boss Marcelo Bielsa.

“I’ve been asked to play in a number of positions this season that aren’t my strongest position but I just get on with it. I just want to play.”


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