Aidy White finally opened his Leeds United account on Tuesday as his goal helped the Whites beat Everton. Now he has eyes on the Premier League. Richard Sutcliffe reports.
GOALSCORING hero Aidy White believes Leeds United’s Capital One Cup heroics will help get the club’s faltering promotion push back on track.
The Elland Road club claimed the notable scalp of Everton on Tuesday night to earn a place in the fourth round for only the second time in 10 years.
White’s first senior goal for United and Rodolph Austin’s second-half flick were enough to see off a team sitting third in the Premier League, and set-up a fourth-round meeting with Southampton.
It means Everton have been added to Manchester United in being the victim of a Cup upset against Leeds, who in recent years have also taken Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to replays before bowing out. As welcome as those exploits in knockout football have been, however, the priority for United remains winning a return to the top flight.
And White, whose first senior goal for Leeds came in his 74th appearance for the club, believes the deserved manner of Tuesday’s win can only boost the promotion push of Neil Warnock’s side.
“We would love to be playing teams like Everton every week,” said the 20-year-old, who is hoping to retain his place on Saturday at Bristol City as Leeds look to improve on their current standing of 12th in the Championship.
“We belong in the Premier League but, finally, maybe this can be our year and we can get back there. For the league games, beating Everton is going to give us a massive boost. We will go to Bristol full of confidence.
“We will be putting ourselves out just like we did against Everton. Everyone knows the Championship is a league where anyone can beat anyone else.
“It is always hard to call but I feel we have a squad and some quality players here who can do well. And by beating Everton, we have shown what we can achieve.
“We know we can beat teams in the Championship.”
In the league, Leeds have been maddeningly inconsistent with heartening wins over the likes of Wolves and Nottingham Forest having been interspersed with disappointing performances in losing to Blackpool and Hull City.
Injuries have not helped with Lee Peltier and Paddy Kenny the latest to join an ever-growing list that for the past few weeks has included Ross McCormack, Paul Green and David Norris.
Even so, United will need to find more consistency to truly make their mark in the promotion race this term. White accepts this and believes the character Warnock has instilled in the squad can only help drive Leeds forward.
The Academy product said: “Everyone at the club is together. We are all on the same journey. And want to get promotion.
“There is a real sense of togetherness. There are no bad players or idiots or anything like that. The squad is full of good lads and we all get on, which I think shows out on the pitch.
“We have some quality here, as we showed by winning after making a few chances. Lads like Dom Poleon were unlucky (to be on the bench against Everton) with him having scored his first goal last week.”
White, who started on the right flank on Tuesday after being dropped to the bench for the weekend win over Forest, set the tone for United’s win against Everton with a stunning solo effort inside four minutes.
Collecting a pass from El-Hadji Diouf, he showed a fine turn of pace and skill to weave his way past Marouane Fellaini before drilling an unstoppable shot past Jan Mucha.
He said: “It is about time I scored. I made my debut about four years ago so I thought I might have had one by now.
“But to finally get one in a game like Everton was great. I was pleased with the goal because I took it early and caught the goalkeeper by surprise.
“It was a fantastic feeling when it went in. Maybe they weren’t expecting me to take them on and it came a bit out of the blue.
“I do have that in my locker. Hopefully, I can show it a bit more and get some more goals.
“I scored a few at Oldham and one was a bit like that. I got it and jinked a few players before slotting it in.”