Mateusz Klich has assessed Leeds’ promotion chances, who he rates as the best player in the Championship and what two factors helped him turn around his time at Elland Road.
The Poland midfielder has been one of the Whites’ most consistent players this season and netted his seventh of the season on Tuesday night’s emphatic 3-0 win at Reading that temporarily lifted United back to the top of the Championship table.
The second-placed Whites entertain third-placed Sheffield United on Saturday lunchtime in a match likely to be crucial in the race for promotion. You can read Marcelo Bielsa’s thoughts on the match here.
Klich admitted his teammates were thriving under the pressure of the battle to reach the Premier League and told a press conference to preview the battle with the Blades: “I can’t wait for the game – it’s one of the most important of my career. Pressure? You need it. It keeps you going. Losing the QPR game motivated us to destroy West Brom at home.”
The former FC Twente star was asked how much he enjoyed the first half against Reading and he continued: “I would love to have that half-time every game. The first goal was obviously important for us again.”
His tally of seven goals is Klich’s ever tally but he admits: “I’ve never scored so many goals in a season. But if you told me at the start of the year, we’d get automatic and with zero goals for me, I would taken it.”
Klich joined Leeds in a £1.5million switch from Twente in summer 2017, but his first season was a struggle and he was loaned back to Holland with FC Utrecht during the second half of the 2017/18 campaign.
Assessing what has changed for him at Leeds, he indicated his baptism of fire in English football may have played its part: “I’m enjoying it. I couldn’t do it last year, but this is the best season of my life.”
The player also had a word for Bielsa, who has transformed the player’s fortunes: “He is very strong, positive and optimisic.”
Klich’s well-taken opener at the Madeski was then overshadowed by two brilliant individual strikes by Pablo Hernandez and Klich admitted it was a delight to have him as a teammate.
“He is our best player, our leader and one of the best in the league,” Klich added.
Get the latest personalised Whites products on our new TEAMtalk Leeds United shop!