Evans analyses Leeds' second-half display, claims Premier League talks, discusses Bridcutt deal

Elland Road pitchside

Steve Evans has reflected on Leeds United's 1-0 win over Preston North End today.

Leeds United manager Steve Evans has spoken to LUTV about his side's tired second half performance against Preston today, before telling BBC Radio Leeds that the club are in talks over signing Premier League players, and Radio Yorkshire that he still believes there is an agreement in place to keep Liam Bridcutt.

Leeds followed up their 3-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Thursday night by beating Preston 1-0 in a tight, tense encounter at Elland Road this afternoon.

Preston goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was harshly sent off for an alleged handball outside his area in the first half, with 17-year-old Matthew Hudson coming on to make his debut for Simon Grayson's men.

Leeds then hit the winning goal shortly after half time, as Preston midfielder Alan Browne diverted the ball in to his own net from a Stuart Dallas cross.

It's now three wins in the last four for Leeds, who sit just five points adrift of the play-off places - and manager Evans told LUTV that whilst it was a massive win for his side, his players were simply exhausted in the second half having had a quick turnaround from that game against Wolves on Thursday.

"It's a massive win for us, we highlighted it to the players," said Evans. "We don't take credit for the performance in the second half. I think in the last half hour we looked particularly tired, but we came back from Wolverhampton and because of the traffic situation and the roadworks, we got back in to Elland Road at nearly 3 o'clock in the morning."

"We knew as a management team that that would be a factor, when you're not resting or recovering properly, so I'll excuse them today for looking tired in the last ten minutes, because we are one of the fittest teams in the Championship," he continued.

Midfielder Liam Bridcutt again played a key role for Leeds, with the on-loan Sunderland star proving exactly why Evans was so keen to bring him to Elland Road.

Now, Evans has told Radio Yorkshire that he still believes there is an agreement with Sunderland in January to extend the loan deal until the end of the season, but believes the midfielder needs to speak to Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce about his future.

"I think that's a decision that Liam has to make and Sunderland football club, and my understanding is that we believe we have an agreement. I know where Liam would like to play his football, but of course, him and Sam Allardyce probably need to sit down and have a chat when his loan's up here," added Evans.

Finally, Evans noted to BBC Radio Leeds that president Massimo Cellino is talking to Premier League clubs over January deals for 'three or four players', in encouraging news for Leeds fans ahead of the transfer window.

"I just want my president to back me, and he's done that. He's making the calls, and how do I know he's making the calls? Because I know the managers. I've got managers in the Premier League telling me we're trying to do something with three or four players."

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