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23-year-old singled out for praise following Leeds United victory

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Jamie Clapham has moved to praise Matthew Pennington’s effort at right-back on Saturday, as he helped Leeds United to a 2-1 victory over Barnsley at Elland Road.

Pennington, who arrived at Elland Road as a central defender, was forced to deputise at right-back on Saturday, with Luke Ayling out injured, Gaetano Berardi suspended and Stuart Dallas, who has been deputising for some time now, struggling with a hamstring problem.

Clapham delivered Leeds’ post-match press conference following their victory over Barnsley, with Paul Heckingbottom’s assistant praising Pennington’s efforts at right-back.

Speaking about the 23-year-old to Leeds Live, Clapham said: “He played out of position, played right-back and he did really well there, against Oli McBurnie, who, obviously, everyone’s talking about at the moment.

“He did really well out there because you can see he’s (McBurnie) a talent, he’s got some quick feet, he’s pretty strong as well.

“He (Pennington) did well and the back four, they stood up to the challenge today. They did well.”

Leeds managed to hold Barnsley off on Saturday to pick up a crucial three points, which helped to ease some of the growing pressure on Heckingbottom.

Tom Pearce opened the scoring for Leeds during the first-half with a fine long-range strike. Paudie O’Connor let Barnsley back into the contest with a spectacular own-goal, but Leeds managed to gain control of the contest at the beginning of the second-half.

Fantastic work by Kemar Roofe on the left allowed the forward to set up Ezgjan Alioski for the winner.

Victory moved Leeds to 12th in the Championship table.

The Verdict

Pennington was steady on Saturday and managed to nullify Barnsley’s main threat.

With O’Connor and Pontus Jansson also looking solid in central defence, Pennington could well continue at right-back, which is slowly turning into a problem position for Leeds.

There aren’t many tougher tests than going up against McBurnie at this current time, so Pennington deserves the praise he is getting. 

Leeds fans… Let us know your thoughts!

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