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Dan James Plots Course To Leeds United And Wales Double Celebration

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By Paul Jones

Dan James is part of a trio of Wales and Leeds United players he believes can achieve a Euro 2024 finals and Premier League double this season.

James, Ethan Ampadu and Joe Rodon were key figures in an utterly dominant display at Cardiff City where the 3-0 victory margin for the visitors could easily have been doubled.

But Leeds winger James has warned his Finnish teammate Glen Kamara he will only be allowed one win in Cardiff this season.

Kamara will be on the opposite side when the midfielder returns to the Welsh capital in March for a crunch Euro 2024 play-off semi-final between Wales and Finland.

“I think Ethan joked to Glen that hopefully this is the last win you get here,” said James, a Leeds scorer alongside Patrick Bamford and Georginio Rutter.

“It’s obviously a match that we three are really looking forward to. It’s going to be a tough game, Finland will be a good team, but it’s always nice to have a home fixture.”

Wales fans will hope their Leeds threesome – a Dai-umvirate – can repeat their influence as they were all at the heart of Leeds’ most commanding away performance of the season.

James is enjoying his most prolific season in front of goal having notched his ninth league goal of the 2023/24 campaign in the win over Erol Bulut’s side.

The former Swansea City and Manchester United player has also picked up six assists this season, while Ampadu and Rodon have established themselves as integral to Leeds’ success and partnered each other in central defence as their team registered back-to-back clean sheets.

As a new year statement, three successive 3-0 victories is a noisy declaration that Daniel Farke’s side are coming on strong for the second half of the campaign.

They combine high energy with slick passing and an in-form striker in Bamford who has now scored three in three games.

With three home games now to follow – against Preston and Norwich City, then Plymouth in the FA Cup – Leeds could well be toasting six-out-of-six wins in dry January.

Farke’s men had actually lost their two previous Championship away games and James admitted: “Today was just about coming here and showing what we can do.

“We dominated the ball, especially in the first half. I thought we played very well, all over the pitch. We controlled the game well and it was an important win for us.

“I think the way the team plays is always to set me up to do what I love doing – running behind, getting the ball, driving at players.”

The persistence of James, the creativity of Rutter and Crysencio Summerville, and the solid base given by Rodon and Ampadu left Farke impressed.

“This was our most mature performance of the season,” said the German.

“Some players were out of position. But Ampadu was outstanding out of position at centre back.”

For Cardiff, this was another sobering defeat and their hopes of making the play-offs already look remote.

From their last seven home games, they have collected just four points – relegation form that must be making their manager Bulut wonder if his reputation would be improved or damaged by committing to a new contract.

Bulut admitted: “Shadow marking will not help us.We were not aggressive enough and not speedy enough.”

“You can lose a game but you have to fight and today that was not that case.”

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