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‘He has a strong mentality’ – Leeds’ Harrison backs Illan Meslier after recent criticism

Leeds United’s Jack Harrison has praised the “strong mentality” of goalkeeper Illan Meslier amid recent critique of the French stopper’s form.

Questions surrounding Meslier’s performances began to arise following him conceding eleven goals in two consecutive home matches – 5-1 and 6-1 defeats to Crystal Palace and Liverpool, respectively.

These worries were only compounded in Leeds’ following game at Craven Cottage, one in which the Frenchman was arguably at fault for both goals conceded in a 2-1 loss.

The 23-year-old’s low confidence, despite being understandable, led many pundits and fans to wonder whether Meslier would retain his position between the sticks in a crucial relegation clash against Leicester City on Tuesday [25 April].

Yet Leeds boss Javi Gracia kept faith in his number 1, and this faith was duly rewarded in an assured display which included several vital saves.

Out of 106 Premier League appearances, Meslier has conceded 193 goals and kept just 21 clean sheets.

But there is no doubt that the amount of goals leaked by the Whites would be higher were it not for the Frenchman, something Harrison has reminded the supporters of in a recent LUTV interview.

“Illan again is a talented player. He’s young, he’s still learning. I think people forget how young he is playing in the Premier League. He’s a fantastic goalkeeper and as a club we’re all behind him, we’re backing him every game,” Harrison said.

“If he gets caught up in what people are saying here and there, it’s not ideal for us. For him, I know he has a strong mentality and we as a team need to be behind one another, and not care too much about what’s being said.

“As long as we are a close-knit group then we can get the results that we need.”

It is crucial that the Whites camp remains a unified one as a must-win fixture with Bournemouth approaches this Sunday.

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