AMID all the post-match talk of Spygate, it was perhaps lost upon many that Leeds United also delivered a firm statement of intent in Friday night’s impressive victory over Championship rivals Derby County.
On a high-stakes occasion when leaders Leeds – beaten in their previous three matches in all competitions – were under as much pre-match pressure as they have been at any point during a pretty seamless season, the hosts reasserted their promotion credentials with a polished win.
Winger Jack Harrison firmly believes that the 2-0 triumph will have also sent a message out to their Championship rivals in the process.
The loanee, who scored his first goal at Elland Road, said: “That is what we set out to do before the game, make an impression after having consecutive (league) losses.
“We knew we had to bounce back and make an impression to the rest of the league and I think we did that with the way that we played and with our team performance.
“Obviously, we can improve on bits here and there, but I think we showed the league what we are about and that we are more than capable of bouncing back from losses.”
Star of the show on Friday was undoubtedly teenage winger Jack Clarke, who confirmed his status as one of the hottest young prospects in English football by setting up both goals in a virtuoso showing.
On the stellar impact of the York-born player, who only turned 18 in November, Harrison added: “He is a brilliant young player.
“I think he only gets better every time he plays as well and he gets more and more confident. That is massive as a player and as he is young, he has got that confidence now and he is playing.
“It is almost as if nothing can stop him.
We knew we had to bounce back and make an impression to the rest of the league and I think we did that with the way that we played and with our team performance.Jack Harrison
“He has been doing really well for the team, adding a lot and you saw what he is capable of against Derby and I am sure he will keep on improving.”
Leeds are poised to complete the signing of Real Madrid keeper Kiko Casilla, 32, this week.
The Whites are ready to buy Casilla out of the final 18 months of his contract at Madrid.