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Leeds man claims he wants to secure a starting berth after return to Christiansen’s XI

Leeds centre-back Matthew Pennington has claimed he’s keen on establishing himself in manager Thomas Christiansen’s first XI plans having recently returned to the starting lineup.

The Everton loanee has featured in the Whites last 3 Championship games, taking his appearances tally to 6, and is making up for lost time having missed 7 games to injuries.

Pennington told the club’s official website: “I missed a few games at the start of the season, but my aim is to try and consolidate my place in the team now.

“The Championship is a tough league, each game is different, but I am here to learn and get better and hopefully I can do that.

“This is a place where I can play games and gain experience, this is a massive football club for me and it is brilliant to play football here.

“In football you are only as good as your last game, when we beat Bristol City everything was brilliant and because we got beat by Sheffield Untied, it isn’t so good anymore.”

The 23-year-old has been in fine form at Elland Road since arriving on a season-long loan, averaging 12 defensive actions per game, successfully completing 50% of the tackles that he has attempted, while also winning 48% of his headed duels.

Despite Pennington’s numbers, questions are being asked of a Leeds’ defence leaking an average of a goal per game.

The Whites have found themselves on the brink of dropping from the playoff zone having lost 5 of their last 6 games.

Should he continue to prove himself to Christiansen, Pennington might eventually establish himself as a mainstay in the XI and help Leeds continue their pursuit of Premier League promotion.