Daniel Farke singled out Archie Gray after the teenager starred in Leeds’ 2-1 Sky Bet Championship win over Bristol City.
The 17-year-old midfielder was drafted in at right-back and kept Sam Bell quiet until the winger was replaced with 25 minutes to go at Elland Road.
Dan James gave Leeds the lead, only for Kal Naismith to head in an equaliser in stoppage time at the end of the first half.
However, Joel Piroe’s controlled strike early in the second half proved decisive as the home side again wasted chances to win by a clearer margin.
Farke said: “I have to give all the compliments to Archie. You can have an idea but it’s much more important the player brings it on the pitch.
“Archie was there with a terrific performance against the ball and also with the ball. It’s all about his potential as a character.”
Farke was happy with the way his side dominated but rued the number of chances they missed.
The German continued: “We created so many chances against such a rock solid side. The only thing I can criticise is not taking our chances, the game should have been done at half-time.”
James finally broke the deadlock after 36 minutes after the ball broke to him six yards out and he found the bottom corner with a left foot shot.
The visitors levelled at the end of the half as Naismith rose to head in a corner and earn his side a barely deserved equaliser.
Leeds went back in front seven minutes into the second half when Piroe shot in low from 20 yards, after the home side had worked the ball across the City area.
The home side should have won by a greater margin but for a glaring first half miss from two yards by Rutter and City goalkeeper Max O’Leary’s save which denied Crysencio Summerville in the second half.
City pushed for a late equaliser but Sam Byram headed off the line from a corner, then blocked a goalbound shot as Leeds held on.
The Robins’ assistant boss Curtis Fleming felt his side had missed a chance to take something out of the game.
He said: “We feel it was a missed opportunity, if I’m honest.
“Leeds are a good side but we controlled the ball well at times and caused them problems and we didn’t trouble them as much as we wanted to. I don’t think we showed as much as what we wanted to.
“They have real quality (in attack) and we knew that coming into the game. We knew we had to concentrate as much as we could as a defensive unit.
“There’s no doubt if you give quality sides chances they will score goals.
“We had a couple of (late) chances but we feel it was a missed chance today. We feel we didn’t ask them as many questions as we could.”
City lost forward Nahki Wells to a first half ankle injury but Fleming hoped it was not too serious ahead of a two-week international break.
Fleming added: “Nahki is a real handful at the moment and it was disappointing to lose him. It’s probably come at a good time, when he has got two weeks (to recover).”