11 clearances, 93% pass success: Leeds star justifies place in first-team

Leeds United

Leeds United defender Stephen Warnock impressed against Rotherham.

Leeds United left-back Stephen Warnock impressed on his return to the first-team during the Whites’ 2-1 defeat at Yorkshire rivals Rotherham.

The 32-year-old started all nine of Leeds’ opening Championship fixtures this season but was dropped by new boss Darko Milanic for the draws against Reading and Sheffield Wednesday.

It was surprising to see the former Liverpool defender removed from the first-team as he began the season in fine form and certainly did enough to keep his place in the side.

New boss Milanic, however, only goes by what he sees in training and the removal of Warnock may have forced him to step up his efforts at the Thorp Arch training ground.

On making his first start since September 27, Warnock proved why he should be a first-team regular as he performed superbly despite his side’s disappointing 2-1 defeat at Rotherham’s New York stadium.

  TeamPosWon TackleEffective ClearanceKey PassAccurate PassPass Completion AppsMins
Stephen Warnock Leeds DF 3 11 1 42 93% 1 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Warnock provided excellent defensive cover whilst proving himself efficient when in possession.

Throughout the 90 minutes, the two-capped England international made three tackles and a whopping 11 clearances among heavy home pressure in the second half.

While in possession, he made 42 accurate passes with an overall 93% completion rate on all intended passes – the highest from any player on the pitch who managed the full 90 minutes.

Since Milanic took over from intern boss Neil Redfearn, the Elland Road outfit have slumped to two defeats and two draws in his four games to date.

Whilst it’s certainly no time to panic, decisions such as leaving his presumed better players on the bench - for instance Brazilian star Adryan and previously Warnock – could be the ones which ultimately loses the confidence of the supporters.

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