Leeds United glimpse promising partnership between Hernandez and Alfonso despite Cardiff City loss

Leeds United manager Garry Monk

The silky Spaniard's combined impressively on occasions although Leeds United stuttered to a disappointing home defeat.

The fact that Leeds United remain in touching distance of third place despite a concerning run of two consecutive Championship defeats is testament to their consistency under Garry Monk this season.

And while there remain very few positives that can be taken out of a 2-0 home defeat to Cardiff City, managed by former Whites boss Neil Warnock no less, the promise of an extra dash of continental flair in an otherwise workmanlike midfield should offer some reason for optimism for the final months of the season.

While tenacious scrappers Eunan O’Kane and Liam Bridcutt have battened down the midfield hatches in recent months and Souleymane Doukara offers perspiration if not inspiration out wide, the Cardiff fixture was the first time that exciting January addition Alfonso Pedraza has started alongside fellow Spaniard Pablo Hernandez in midfield.

Leeds' Pablo Hernandez in action with Derby's Bradley Johnson

In fact, the 20-year-old - signed on loan from Villarreal last month - appeared at his most dangerous when linking up with the veteran play-maker on the flank, their subtle touches and vision boding well for the final 15 games of the campaign.

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And so it should: Pedraza and Hernandez are both instantly recognisable for their Mediterranean technique and composure on the ball, although the youngster’s driving runs and dynamism should complement the former Valencia star’s refined intricacies.

Nottingham Forests' Henri Lansbury in action with Leeds United's Pablo Hernandez

Furthermore, with six assists, no one has created more goals this season for Leeds this season than Hernandez than the addition of Pedraza instead of the hard-working Doukara or Stuart Dallas, not to mention the erratic Hadi Sacko, promises to add more flair and inspiration in the final third.

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That should keep Chris Wood in the goals anyway.

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