Leeds United's Ezgjan Alioski urged not to '˜beat himself up' over his displays

LEEDS UNITED'S Ezgjan Alioski would benefit from not 'judging himself too harshly' as this puts too much pressure on the Macedonian, according to head coach Paul Heckingbottom.

Leeds United's Ezgjam Alioski ended his near three-month wait for a goal in Leeds Uniteds draw at Derby (Picture: Tony Johnson).

The 26-year-old ended a near three-month goal drought in the 2-2 draw at Derby County after coming off the bench to link up with fellow substitute Samuel Saiz.

Alioski’s struggle for form has come amid United’s downturn in results – Wednesday night’s draw means the Yorkshire club’s last victory came ten games ago on Boxing Day.

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Heckingbottom, however, has seen enough in his first 17 days at the helm to suggest Alioski can have a big role to play for Leeds.

“I was pleased for him in terms of getting a goal,” said the 40-year-old, who had been in the home dugout when Alioski had scored his previous goal in November’s 2-0 win at Barnsley.

“Another player who is just so genuine. He wants to play every minute of every game. He wants to give you everything and probably beats himself up a bit, puts some pressure on himself and is judging himself too harshly.

“Looking at what he did after coming on, a couple of his defensive positions were superb.

“For one of those, he picked up a loose ball from Derby and broke. Then, for another one two minutes later, Derby looked in a dangerous position, but he was on the edge of the box restricting Bradley Johnson to a shot.”

As Leeds prepare to host Brentford tomorrow, Heckingbottom admits to being buoyed by his side’s battling display at Pride Park not least because it came on the back of another big effort from his side in pegging back Bristol City to a 2-2 draw at Elland Road last Sunday having trailed 2-0.

Less pleasing for the United chief, however, was Pablo Hernandez suffering a hamstring strain against the Rams that makes the Spaniard a major doubt for the Bees clash.

Leeds, meanwhile, have pushed back a vote on a new club badge to later in the year with the choice of season ticket holders and members now set to be released for the 2019-20 centenary season, rather than next August as first planned.

Club officials ditched their original choice of a badge including a ‘Leeds salute’ after widespread protests from furious fans.