I’m an EFL defender but I’m banging in the goals this season thanks to sessions with one of Europe’s best ever strikers

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PLAYING with a goalscoring great has paid off for Huddersfield’s unlikely hitman Michal Helik.

The big defender poached the opener in a battling 1-1 derby draw against promotion-chasing Yorkshire neighbours Leeds — who missed out on a club-record tenth successive league win.

The defender has four goals in his last seven games

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The defender has four goals in his last seven gamesCredit: Getty
He says he's taking lessons in scoring goals from fellow countryman Robert Lewandowski

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He says he’s taking lessons in scoring goals from fellow countryman Robert LewandowskiCredit: EPA

It was a career-high ninth goal of the season and fourth in seven games for Helik, 28, as Town’s top-scorer revealed working with Robert Lewandowski for Poland had helped his finishing.

Helik has seven international caps but captain and Barcelona’s superstar hitman Lewandowski has a huge 146.

Helik said: “Yes, obviously every session with him I could learn something.

“Robert scores every type of goal. He’s different class — the best player in Polish football history without doubt.

“It was a great experience for me to work with him but I’m also taking lessons from other strikers in the league because I know as a defender what I don’t like — and I’m trying to do the same in the opposite way.

“There is always a moment as a defender when you switch off when the shot is coming, so I’m trying to be alive for the second balls.

“When I was young I was trying to be a striker but when I became so tall every coach was trying to push me to become a centre-back.

“I never really watched defenders when I was young but Ronaldinho was the main man.

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“I know that doesn’t match my style of play but he was magic.”

On as a 26th-minute sub after a month out with a groin injury, Helik netted from close range in first-half injury time after Leeds keeper Illan Meslier kept out Danny Ward’s header.

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But Town then had captain Jonathan Hogg sent off for two bookings, having caught Crysencio Summerville late and struck Junior Firpo in the face with his arm.

Patrick Bamford turned in a low cross from Connor Roberts to bag a point for lacklustre Leeds, although Summerville hit the post with a late effort as they dominated possession.

And forward Bamford said: “We’ll take a point because if you can’t win a game, then don’t lose it. We knew it was going to be that kind of game where they are fighting down in the bottom half of the table.”

Daniel Farke’s Leeds dropped to third place but Helik — whose own side are out of the bottom three on goals scored — backed them for a Prem return.

He added: “I think they’ve got so much quality and honestly think they will go up directly.

“It’s not been an easy season for us. We are trying to do our job better and climb that table.”



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I’m an EFL defender but I’m banging in the goals this season thanks to sessions with one of Europe’s best ever strikers

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