Gary Neville was very, very impressed with Wilfried Gnonto’s performance in Leeds’ 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Friday night.
Leeds dominated the game at Villa Park but another defeat means Jesse Marsch’s side are now just two points above the relegation zone.
There were Leeds fans calling for Marsch’s sacking in the stadium but the travelling support will have been impressed by Gnonto, who caused Villa full-back Young no end of problems.
Neville drooled over the 19-year-old’s display, lauding his movement, body shape and strength of mind to cope with Young kicking him from pillar to post.
“He is absolutely fantastic. It is the first time I’ve seen him live, and knowing what a good left winger is, his movement to get on the ball and his body shape to receive the ball is absolutely fantastic,” Neville said.
“He is tenacious as well. That is what you want from your players. He is saying ‘come on, Ashley Young is booting the hell out of me’. Ashley Young will, that’s what I’d do against a 19-year-old who looks as good as he looks.
“His movement has been really good. I could watch him all day long. He knows the game already at 19. He knows the position he’s playing in. He’s hanging right on the line of offside and making it difficult for Young and making those double movements.”
Marsch insisted after the game that he’s “more positive than ever” after his side’s display.
He said: “I’m focused entirely on our team. I understand the pressures which come with the expectation at a club like Leeds. I’m more positive than I’ve ever been since I’ve been here.
“When the team doesn’t win the coach is always going to take the heat but I can handle that.
“There’s no panic, it’s really trying to kick start the way we want to play. If we do that we have enough quality and intelligence to achieve our goals.
“In sport sometime you can be on top and lose. This is our most complete performance since I’ve been here and the best example of the way I believe the team can play. I’m in a positive place with our group.”
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