By Mark Smith

21st Dec, 2019 | 11:00am

MOT View: Player 'crushed' by Leeds could come back to haunt Whites v Fulham

Leeds United will have to be at the top of their game to extend their 11-match unbeaten run in the Championship against Fulham on Saturday.

The Cottagers have a number of names with Premier League experience in their side. Anthony Knockaert, Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Tom Cairney just to name three.

Scott Parker has inherited a vastly-talented squad, and one of those players has more motivation than just promotion to turn up against Leeds.

The Athletic journalist Phil Hay revealed recently that the Fulham captain was left “crushed” by the decision made by Leeds not to offer him a scholarship contract.

Cairney has often reminded Leeds of the big mistake they made with that decision. In his eight meetings with the Whites ever since he hasn’t lost once and has scored in many of those results both home and away from Craven Cottage.

Fulham’s captain hasn’t hit the heights of previous seasons this year, but a game against his former side could be exactly what he needs to push on and spearhead a promotion push under Parker.

The decision to let Cairney go almost 12 years ago could come back to haunt Leeds on Saturday once again. The main difference this time would be that it could be a serious blow to our promotion hopes, with so much more to play for this time around.

Despite not being at the top of his game, the 28-year-old has still been involved in nine goals from midfield. Those are still impressive numbers for Fulham, and Leeds players such as Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips will know how important it is to stop his progress from previous experiences.

An added motivation to impress can often become overwhelming, and the Whites will be hoping that is the case for Cairney when they arrive at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Slowly shrinking’ – Holloway issues verdict on C’ship race, predicts Leeds clash v Fulham