Kalvin Phillips has enjoyed his best season for goals under Thomas Christiansen this year, scoring five goals in sixteen appearances.
This campaign has seen the 21-year-old deployed as a holding, as well as an attacking midfielder, and it has certainly come up trumps as Phillips has equalled the amount scored by the Whites main frontman, Pierre-Michel Lasogga.
The academy product has certainly been a lot more clinical and attack-minded this year, which could partly be down to the fitness regime that Thomas Christiansen instilled in the squad when he came to Elland Road in the summer.
Speaking to the YEP this week, Phillips admitted he’s had to avoid eating “chocolate cake after Sunday dinner.”
“He (Christiansen) tried to make me slim down so I could be quicker and a little bit sharper,” said Phillips.
“In the first couple of weeks I felt a bit drained but by cutting down on certain things I’ve felt the benefit. You can see that in my performances.”
Losing seven of the last eight matches, the rut has to stop somewhere, and what better place to start than against former head coach Garry Monk and his Middlesbrough side.
Currently fifth on the Championship, Boro have been good form of late after winning their last three matches.
Interestingly, Middlesbrough haven’t lost an away game since August when they were defeated 2-1 by Nottingham Forest, whereas Leeds’s last home win came in a 3-2 win over Ipswich in September.
Pontus, Jansson, Luke Ayling, Pablo Hernandez, Kemar Roofe and Hadi Sacko were all brought in by Monk during his tenure last year, but Eunan O’Kane will be the one out to prove a point to his old boss, after Monk left him out of several games towards the end of last season.
Positivity surrounding Christiansen’s forward options emerged yesterday when Caleb Ekuban’s return to Sunday’s squad was confirmed, and given Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s poor form of late, Ekuban may be just what Leeds need to end this torrid run of form.