'I was surplus to requirements': How Warnock can now become club's most important defender

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Stephen Warnock feels he was undervalued by old manager Darko Milanic.

Stephen Warnock has told LUTV that it was obvious he was surplus to requirements under the Darko Milanic regime at Elland Road.

The 33-year-old struggled to see a future under the Slovenian boss, but has been drafted back into the first team setup under Neil Redfearn and could now become the club’s most important defender over the rest of the season.

“When I first came into the club there were a lot of managerial changes and I think it was quite obvious that I was surplus to requirements under the last regime – and that told a little bit,” said the defender.

Leeds United have a very fresh looking squad of players with Redfearn showing no fear in using younger stars in his team frequently already this season.

There is a strong air of inexperience about some players in the team, which makes the more senior individuals more important.

Warnock is a key figure in a back four, which has struggled at times this season and he’s vital in terms of ensuring the likes of Jason Pearce and Liam Cooper don’t allow their heads to drop, urging them to react at difficult times and cash in during the good spells.

Warnock is also point from a tactical point of view, which Redfearn himself has already touched on.

The boss has been quite open in his admission that Leeds have a very narrow style of play, which comes because of the midfield diamond they have been using in most games and it explains why Leeds are down the pecking order in terms of the number of crosses being made by Championship teams.

That places the full-backs under pressure to get forward and supply the width, with Warnock one of the defenders with that responsibility in the current team.

He may not be as quick or as agile as he was in his earlier years, but he’s still a decent player from the left hand side who is capable of producing good quality balls into the box for attacking players to try and get onto the end of.

If Leeds are to move up the top, consolidate in the top half and push for a play-off spot by May, Warnock will be a vital component.

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