Luke Ayling's stats should give Leeds fans reason for optimism following frustrating afternoon

Luke Ayling of Leeds United feels the cold during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on December 29, 2016 in Birmingham, England.

Luke Ayling enjoyed a very impressive afternoon during Leeds United's draw with Preston North End.

Leeds' draw with Preston North End on Saturday would have likely left Thomas Christiansen feeling slightly less optimistic about his side's chances of success this season than he would have felt following either of their two wins so far this campaign.

The Whites struggled to create many chances against a difficult Lilywhites side to break down, and were in danger of conceding themselves on a couple of occasions during the stalemate.

Luke Ayling of Leeds United feels the cold during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on December 29, 2016 in Birmingham, England.

But perhaps one positive the Leeds boss can take from the game was yet another solid display from Luke Ayling - who has certainly been a leading contender for being the Whites' most consistent player since he arrived last summer.

The right-back was perhaps not as influential going forward as he has been at times in the past, but his statistics from the game highlight just how important he is to the side's fortunes. 

  Total TacklesTackles WonTotal ClearancesSuccessful DribblesDuels WonInterceptionsTotal PassesAccurate Passes
Luke Ayling 6 6 1 1 9 1 55 42

As well as the one clearance, one interception and one successful dribble, Ayling particularly shone when it came to the number of duels and tackles he won during the contest. 

He won nine duels during the game, which was the joint most of any player in a Leeds shirt in the goalless draw, with Gianni Alioski also winning nine. 

  TeamTotal TackleWon Tackle
Luke Ayling Leeds 6 6
Ola Aina Hull 6 6
Greg Cunningham Preston 6 5
Adam Hammill Barnsley 5 5
Joe Bryan Bristol C 5 4

And, in easily the most impressive statistic of all, no player across the entire Championship won more tackles than Ayling did on Saturday - Hull's Ola Aina also won six - and he achieved that with a perfect success rate.

It will hardly surprise Leeds fans that Ayling was so reliable in the draw, but it will certainly give Christiansen a lot of confidence that when the side are some way short of their best, there are some members of the squad who can be trusted to still perform at an extremely high level.

General view of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on February 25, 2017 in Leeds, England.

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