Leeds United striker Rodrigo has stressed the importance of “focus”, “commitment” and “unity” within the squad as the Whites strive to stave off Premier League relegation for the second consecutive year.
Rodrigo is currently sidelined after picking up an ankle injury in an FA Cup fourth round clash with Accrington Stanley in late January. Recent reports suggest his recovery is progressing faster than expected, with a return before March’s international break looking possible.
The 32-year-old is no stranger to a tense league finish following on from last season. Moments of chaos against Norwich, Brighton and Wolves will be fondly remembered by Rodrigo and Leeds supporters alike.
It was a sense of togetherness, desire and commitment within the squad which inspired these memorable events, and eventually saved Leeds from the drop.
Now, Rodrigo has emphasised the significant role these qualities will play if the Whites are to repeat last season’s great escape.
“Now is the moment we need everyone. We already have the spirit from last season that everyone was important in different moments to achieve the main goal,” he said to LeedsLive.
“Everyone will be important. Not just the strikers. We need everyone focused, everyone 100 per cent committed and we have been until now.
“We have to keep this because, as I said to you, the most important thing is the union of the group. In these moments, especially in the difficult moments in football, from my personal experience, not just here in Leeds, but in Valencia and Benfica before as well, it’s the most important thing to overcome these moments.”
Rodrigo, if deemed fit for Brighton on Saturday, will want to quickly recapture the red-hot form which has made him Leeds’ top scorer this season by getting back among the goals.
And as the Whites struggle with end product going forward – having only scored one goal in their past five matches – any further contribution from the Spaniard could be crucial in securing their Premier League status.