By Mark Smith

29th Dec, 2019 | 10:00am

BBC pundit backs 'Great player to work with' to start for Leeds v Birmingham

There aren’t many things that Leeds United fans don’t love about Ezgjan Alioski.

He hasn’t exactly had the season he was hoping for so far, with the emergence of Stuart Dallas meaning he has had to settle for a place on the bench more often than not.

That doesn’t stop him from supporting his teammates with his infectious personality, or coming on and making a massive difference in games – like against Huddersfield and Hull City where he scored in both.

He was rewarded recently with a start against Preston, and he should have added one, maybe even two to his account for the season.

Noel Whelan has backed Alioski to start once again for the Whites against Birmingham, claiming his energy creates more goalscoring opportunities for Bielsa’s men.

“Yeah, I think so. He was unlucky to be getting a start after scoring two goals in two games, coming on as a substitute,” the BBC pundit told Football Insider.

“He’s stayed positive, he’s a team player, you can see that. He never spits his dummy out, he gets on with his job and he’s got to be a great player to work with.

“Against Preston, I felt that he just worked and worked and worked up and down that line, he’s got loads of energy, he likes to get in the good positions. To be honest with you, he definitely should have scored one, maybe two.”

Marcelo Bielsa would do himself no harm by selecting the ever-reliable Macedonian, whose non-stop running can cause real problems for opposing sides who just won’t be able to keep up with him at times.

Leeds look much quicker with him in the squad, and that could be the difference at St Andrew’s on Sunday as the fixtures start to pile up over this period.

In other Leeds United news, Cooper comments on Leeds clash v Birmingham, claims Clotet has ‘changed’ style