Exclusive: Danny Pugh highlights two key players for Leeds heading into the playoffs

Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, former Leeds United midfielder Danny Pugh has had his say on which players will be important for his old club if they are to reach the Premier League.

The Port Vale midfielder joined the Whites in 2004 from Manchester United and came back for a second spell in 2011.

Although Pugh failed to earn promotion during his time at Elland Road, he believes that if Kalvin Phillips and Pablo Hernandez are at their best, then the Yorkshire club have a great chance.

What’s been said then?

The former Stoke City player has highlighted the two players he believes will be essential if the Whites are to be victorious at Wembley later this month.

“(Pablo) Hernandez is obviously a big player with the goals and assists he brings,” Pugh told Football FanCast.

“But one player I’ve been massively impressed with is (Kalvin) Phillips, he was just a young lad when I was there, and he has come on leaps and bounds recently. The work he does in midfield will be vital for them.”

Hit the nail on the head

Pugh couldn’t be more right in choosing Phillips and Hernandez as Leeds’ two most important players for these final games.

The Spaniard won the club’s Player of the Year award for a reason. He has scored 12 goals and provided 12 assists, and if he can continue that type of form, then it will go a long way towards helping the Whites return to the Premier League.

Phillips has occupied the defensive midfield position for Marcelo Bielsa this season, and in his system, there may not be a more important role.

The 36-year-old highlighted Pugh’s work in the midfield, and that may be what ends up getting Leeds promoted.

Just watch their game against Aston Villa last month, and it is obvious what Phillips brings to the table. The 23-year-old did a great job of dealing with Jack Grealish that day, and if he can continue to be a strong defensive presence, then the Whites may well be back in the top flight next season.