Dallas on campaign so far.
Leeds United’s Northern Ireland international Stuart Dallas has been one of the standout performers for the club this season.
He spoke to the official matchday programme about the 2019/20 campaign so far...
You’ve played mainly at right-back this season, a slightly different position, how have you found it?
“Most of the time with Leeds and Northern Ireland I played as a winger and I’d played in the wing-back role occasionally as well. Under the manager he’s seen me more as a full-back or wing-back and I’m happy with that. If somebody asked me now I would call myself a full-back. I enjoy playing there and it helps when you are playing with good players. We’ve got good players here and there is no better manager to learn under than the manager we have here.”
You’ve also played in the midfield in the last couple of games...
“It does benefit if you have somebody who can play in different positions. Sometimes it can work against you because you don’t get stuck in that one position where you can play week in week out and get used to it. It’s a big change for me going into central midfield, it’s not somewhere I’ve played before or my strongest position, but if the manager wants me to play there, I will play it to the rest of my ability. I’m not going to be a world beater, but I’ll give it a go and if it means playing, that is what it is all about.”
Marcelo has described you as such a talented footballer in being able to play in so many positions, what is it like to receive praise like that?
“Of course, to hear praise from the manager himself is a great feeling obviously and it shows he has a lot of faith in me. I don’t really read too much, I just try and work hard and do my best, I know myself if I have had a good or bad game. It is good though, to have the faith from the manager that he is willing to put me in a position I haven’t really played before, so I am happy with that.”
From the stands, it feels like you’ve been one of the most consistent players this year for Leeds...
“That’s something since I’ve been at Leeds that I have never had in my game and something I wanted to do this season was to play well consistently. I think the manager and his staff have had a big part to play in that. They’ve developed my game over the last year and I feel I am a much better player now, I’m much fitter and much stronger. The situation with the food and diet also sets you in a good position to go and play at the highest standard you can. For me, though, it is about taking one game at a time.”
How much are you enjoying it?
“I love it, I love playing and playing under the pressure of a club like this. It’s no secret the pressure here is huge, some players thrive under it and some people don’t, but it is one I love playing under. We were in touching distance of promotion last season and it is something we want to push on with and achieve this year. We’ve started the season pretty well, we probably should have a lot more points than we have, but hopefully we can continue on our good run.”
How pleasing was it for you to sign a new four year contract?
“For me it was massive, especially as I’ve said coming back for pre-season I was going into the final year of my contract. I didn’t think too much about it, but I know what I am capable of if I got a run of games and I wanted to do that. I wanted to stay here and I’m delighted the club and manager have shown faith in me to reward me with a new deal. It takes me up to a good age and I was really pleased to get it done and my family were really happy as well. My little girl was asking if she would have to move schools, so that is when it really started to hit home that I needed to get everything sorted.”