Midfielder looks back at the West Yorkshire derby- Dean Whitehead reviews win at Leeds United
- 'Deano' says team destroyed United on the break
- Midfielder pleased with use of set pieces
Dean Whitehead has described Town’s 4-1 Sky Bet Championship win at Leeds United as ‘a good day all round’.
The experienced midfielder played the full 90 minutes as the Terriers came away with the Club’s biggest win over their West Yorkshire rivals since September 1960, but it wasn’t all plain sailing after the home side took the lead.
“After we missed the penalty and they scored, we weathered a storm from them for about 20 minutes. That was vital,” Dean told htafc.com.
“The goal before half time gave us a big lift. We came out in the second half and let them come onto us a bit – and destroyed them on the break. You have to manage the game as it develops at the time and I thought we did that quite well.
“We’re getting better at working out where we can attack teams to get more chances and we did that well on Saturday. We were very clinical in the final third.
“It was a derby match and we knew there would be battles all over the park, with tackles flying in. We stood up to that and came out winners. It was a good day all round.”
Whitehead was full of praise for teammate Nahki Wells, who recovered from seeing his first half penalty saved to grab an assist and his 16th goal of the season.
“It was Nahki in a nutshell, wasn’t it?” Dean remarked. “He is capable of anything. It wasn’t his best penalty, but he responded by putting one on a plate for Karim and getting the goal himself.”
After conceding from two corners against Burnley seven days earlier, Dean was also pleased to see Town score from two corners.
He explained: “It does make a change! ‘Pato’ has great delivery and after the first goal we kept putting them over the ‘keeper, as he was flapping all over the place.”
Dean was delighted with the backing Town’s 2,000-strong travelling contingent gave the team throughout the day:
“They were outstanding. It was fantastic to have them behind us, singing all game like they did. We’re thankful we could give them four goals and three points.”
The 34 year-old now believes that the team should be looking up the Sky Bet Championship table; not below.
“If we keep performing like we did on Saturday, we’ll be looking towards the middle of the table; not anywhere below us. It was a really positive result and we’ll build on it.
“We’ve been playing well for some time now, but we’ve kept making little errors here and there and not been as clinical as we can be. That will come and when it does, with this boss and group of players, it’s onwards and upwards.”
The two-time winner of the Sky Bet Championship is hoping to play a key role in that climb after his recent spell on the sidelines.
“I was in the team when the Head Coach arrived, but then I picked up a bad injury and it’s taken me a while to get back up to full speed. ‘Hoggy’ came in and did a fantastic job, but unfortunately he’s out now.
“The Head Coach has been really good with the experienced players. His approach is slightly different to an English one, but he is ‘full throttle’, passionate and wants us to keep passing and playing when we’re under pressure. We all keep belief in our philosophy.”
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