Stuart Dallas hinted he could be decent full-back option for Leeds

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Millwall and Barnsley at The Den on January 6, 2018 in London, England.

Stuart Dallas made a rare start in Leeds United's latest Championship clash last weekend.

Stuart Dallas of Leeds scores the winning penalty during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Burnley and Leeds United at Turf Moor on September 19, 2017 in Burnley, England.

In the months leading up to Thomas Christiansen's departure at Leeds, one thing the Elland Road faithful could not get their head around was why Stuart Dallas had been used so sparingly by the former boss.

Dallas is an experienced campaigner in the Championship and capable of playing in a number of roles, so seemed to be the ideal man to start on the occasions when the Whites had been depleted by the raft of injuries and suspensions, yet he went into Paul Heckingbottom's first game in charge of the club still awaiting his first start since October.

Stuart Dallas of Leeds and Ashley Westwood of Burnley in action during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Burnley and Leeds United at Turf Moor on September 19, 2017 in Burnley,...

With Luke Ayling injured and Gaetano Berardi suspended, it probably surprised few supporters that the versatile Northern Irishman was deployed at right-back for the trip to Sheffield United, and it seemed to be a decision that was popular with the supporters with questions still being asked about Vurnon Anita as a full-back.

And while the game did not get off to the best start for Leeds or Dallas, it could certainly be argued that the winger gave Heckingbottom little reason to believe that he could not be used at right-back more often in the future if it is necessary.

Cardiff defender Lee Peltier (l) challenges Stuart Dallas of Leeds during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Leeds United at Cardiff City Stadium on September 26, 2017...

The Whites were a goal down inside two minutes as Billy Sharp easily lost Dallas inside the box and managed to find the back of the net with a stunning volley. But after that error - which Matthew Pennington perhaps could take some of the blame for also as neither man scouted Sharp's run to the edge of the box - Dallas settled into the game and performed well enough to vindicate Heckingbottom's decision.

The 26-year-old looked keen to get forward when he could, and that helped Leeds show some intent at times, while defensively, there were arguably few things that he could have done better throughout the game. 

It is certainly not a long-term solution for the Whites, but Dallas' performance in a position that he is not used to arguably provided a hint as to why Christiansen was wrong to use him as rarely as he did when players such as Hadi Sacko and Pawel Cibicki - who, admittedly, was initially brilliant when he got his first run in the team - played so much. 

And with Heckingbottom probably looking to work out which players he can rely on as he tries to construct the flawless run that will give Leeds a chance of getting back into the play-off picture, it seems highly likely that he will see in Dallas the kind of utility man - when required to be - that could prove so important in the coming months. 

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