Pontus Jansson is a Leeds hero already, but has featured in neither of the Whites' most impressive victories this term

General view inside the stadium before the game - Elland Road

Leeds United picked up a great victory over Brighton on Saturday, and Pontus Jansson was a notable absentee for the game.

Pontus Jansson of Leeds United celebrates after the gamePontus Jansson of Leeds United

When the Leeds team was announced for their crucial clash with Brighton on Saturday, many Whites fans would have been scratching their heads when they saw that Pontus Jansson was left on the bench for the Championship game at Elland Road.

Garry Monk's decision to leave out the Swede ultimately appeared to be something of an inspired one however, as Liam Cooper and Kyle Bartley helped Leeds keep a clean sheet - even if the former needed Rob Green to make a smart save to prevent an own goal being scored. 

Though there is no reason to suggest that the 2-0 win would not have happened had Jansson been playing in place of Cooper, it must be pointed out that arguably Leeds' two most impressive wins of the campaign have come when the cult hero has not featured.

Against Derby back in January, Jansson was missing due to suspension as Luke Ayling came into the middle to play alongside Bartley.

Despite the somewhat makeshift back four, Leeds were sensational on a night where they really provided one of the first indications of their play-off credentials.

Leeds United manager Garry MonkLeeds United manager Garry Monk

And until the win against the Seagulls, the 1-0 victory over Derby had been held up as the performance that the team needed to aspire to.

However, the three points against the automatic-promotion favourites has arguably set a new benchmark given the quality of the opposition, and interestingly, Jansson was left on the bench.

Of course, it may have been partially because of Jansson's absence that the two wins was rated so highly with questions about whether Ayling and Cooper would be able to step in. 

General view inside the stadium before the game - Elland Road

And without the 26-year-old, it is surely fair to say that Leeds would not be in such a strong position going into the final few weeks of the season.

Jansson most definitely gets into Leeds' strongest side currently, but perhaps the Whites can take a tremendous amount of belief from the fact that they have not needed one of their best performers to put in two of their most impressive and most season-defining victories of the campaign.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch