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Stuart Dallas 'more than happy' to accept pay deferral in order to protect Leeds staff



Stuart Dallas has been in form for Leeds United.

Stuart Dallas has been in form for Leeds United.

Getty Images

Stuart Dallas has been in form for Leeds United.

Stuart Dallas says he was 'more than happy' to accept a wage deferral in order to protect the incomes of Leeds United's non-playing staff.

The club announced last month that the squad, along with the senior management team, had volunteered to defer their wages 'for the foreseeable future' in order to allow all 272 full-time non-football staff to be paid as well as most of the club's casual workers.

Dallas, who should have been featuring for Northern Ireland in the Euro 2020 play-offs last week, says there was no hesitation in agreeing to the move.

"It's not just about us, it's a world crisis," he told Sky Sports. "If it meant taking a wage cut to keep others in a job, that's the first thing we wanted to do.

"At this club, everybody's reading off the same page and we were more than happy to do that.

"We're all in this together and if everyone pulls together then we'll get through it."

Dallas, who has been dubbed 'the Championship James Milner' by team-mate Adam Forshaw, is living up to his nickname, keen to ensure he is in best possible shape to resume his playing career whenever the coronavirus lockdown comes to an end, with Championship-topping Leeds hoping they can still seal promotion.

"Football has to take a back-seat, but we have to put the work in now and be ready for when the time comes," he said.

"We have to focus on the end goal and that is ultimately promotion for us so we have to be ready.

"The club have been good and given us everything we need to keep our fitness levels up.

"It's difficult training by yourself but we have to make sure we're in the best possible shape for when football does return."

Dallas is currently seeing out the lockdown at home with wife Juneve and children Pixie, Xavie and Rexie.

"I've found myself doing a lot more housework, although I'm probably not the best at it," he said.

"And spending time with the kids which is important because their world has been turned upside down. We have to keep them happy and smiling."

Leeds team-mate Forshaw added his voice to the growing calls for Dallas to be awarded the club's Player of the Year title.

“He will play anywhere on the pitch for you and he is a manager’s dream. He will run through a brick wall for you," the midfielder said.

“He deserves this break and needs to be recognised for what he does. I call him the Championship’s James Milner. He’s absolutely fantastic.”

Belfast Telegraph