Leeds manager Simon Grayson believes Andy O'Brien's decision to opt for a permanent move to Elland Road is a clear recommendation of the club's intentions.
Promotion rivals Cardiff had attempted to ambush Leeds' plans to make O'Brien's loan move permanent, but the central defender turned down a better deal from the Welsh club.
Grayson said: "His overall experience is vital to us because we've got a young team with experienced defenders like Paddy Kisnorbo and Richard Naylor out. So to have him around and sign him after major competition for his signature is obviously very pleasing."
After seeing Luciano Becchio crash home a stoppage-time volley to salvage an unlikely point from a 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough and extend Leeds' unbeaten run to 12 matches, Grayson declared it a happy New Year.
Leeds announced the capture of O'Brien before kick-off, but rarely looked like getting back on terms after going behind to Middlesbrough defender David Wheater's towering first-half header.
He added: "We've spoken already about what we're trying to achieve here and players have got to see the bigger picture and see what's in the group and what we're capable of doing.
"He wouldn't have been happy dropping out of the Premier League to come to a club that was happy with mid-table mediocrity."
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