Benched Dallas still has key role in Leeds squad, insists boss

Stuart Dallas.

Stuart Dallas.

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STEVE Evans has backed Leeds United winger Stuart Dallas to return to the starting line-up fresh and ready to finish the campaign on a high.

Dallas was a surprise face on the substitutes bench against Fulham, but Evans insists the wide man still has a huge role to play in his plans.

It was Dallas who was ‘guilty’ of missing Leeds’ best opportunity to seal victory against Fulham last Tuesday evening when he volleyed a fine chance wide after coming on as a 78th-minute substitute.

Dallas’ omission from the starting XI came as a surprise but Evans maintains maximum faith in the 24-year-old who has proved a fine signing from Brentford.

Evans reasoned: “I think what people seem to forget with Stuart is that at Brentford the previous season, off the top of my head he probably had 18 or 19 starts and the rest coming off the bench and he seemed to share the position with the boy [Alan] Judge – another top player.

“Stuart has come in and he’s been involved in practically every game, all bar I think one or two, and played more minutes than most. And I think sometimes that can catch you.

“He’s the type of lad where he has got huge desire, a big heart to play football and sometimes you think you want to give him a down day but he wants to be out there with the boys.

“I don’t think it’s confidence. I think it’s maybe a little bit of freshness, hence why we decided the other night to put him on the bench so we could get him back really fresh. I think despite the fact that he missed a chance for us, I think Stuart looked more like the Stuart Dallas we know for that last 20 minutes.

“Every time he got the ball he had a real purpose about himself. On another day he’d have scored that chance, I think he hits it too well.

“He’s thumped it and if he bobbles that one it probably goes into the net.

“Stuart has a big end to the season to have for us, of course, and we need him. I think Stuart has been one of the better players if I’m honest.”

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