Pontus Jansson could be forced to miss Tuesday’s league game against Bristol City after being taken ill on the morning of Leeds United’s 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City.
Jansson was ruled out of yesterday’s loss at Elland Road in the hours before kick-off and head coach Garry Monk hinted that the Sweden international was unlikely to recover in time for the second of two back-to-back home fixtures.
His absence saw Liam Cooper come into United’s line-up for only his sixth league start of the season but two cheap goals – the first scored by Cardiff defender Sean Morrison with a free header – ended United’s run of six straight victories at Elland Road.
Jansson, who is on loan from Torino but will take up a permanent three-year contract with Leeds at the end of the season, has been first choice under Monk since joining in August and will regain his place on Tuesday if he recovers in time to face Bristol City.
But Monk said: “He rang in ill and the doctor went and saw him. I’d imagine he’s doubtful for the (Bristol City) game.
“If you’re ill and you miss this game (against Cardiff) then it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to recover in the next 48 hours, in the way that you need to. But we’ll see what the situation is.”
Leeds are under pressure to bank three points against Bristol City after their defeat to Cardiff allowed seventh-placed Norwich City to climb to within four points of Monk’s promotion-chasing squad.
Monk, however, will definitely be without captain Liam Bridcutt following his dismissal towards the end of yesterday’s game.
The midfielder incurred a second yellow card for a trip in Greg Halford with four minutes of normal time to play. He had been booked for dissent late in the first half after disputing referee James Linington’s decision to penalise Luke Ayling for a foul throw.
Bridcutt’s dismissal will see him serve a one-match suspension against Bristol City, adding him to a list of absentees which continues to include left-back Charlie Taylor.
Taylor was missing for the 11th game in succession yesterday but Monk is hopeful that the defender will resume training after an Achilles problem in the next week.
Bristol City, meanwhile, conceded a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 at Derby County over the weekend and Lee Johnson’s side are desperate for points having slipped to within two places of the Championship’s bottom three.
A defensive strategy employed by Cardiff manager Neil Warnock paid off as second-half goals from Morrison and Kenneth Zohore settled yesterday’s match and Monk conceded that United’s recent form at home –showing six successive victories with no goals conceded prior to Cardiff’s visit – would encourage away teams to frustrate his side at Elland Road.
“Because of how well we’ve done here, teams will come and respect us a little bit more,” Monk said. “They’ll set up in the way Cardiff did. It’s for us to face up to, get ready for and overcome.
“We never like losing games or losing at home and we haven’t had to face that situation too much but I’ve said this many, many times – the only way we can do this is by remaining focused and determined. The players are very determined.
“It’s important that all of us stick together, as always, and come through the difficult moments. We’re frustrated but we’ve got no time to dwell on it because we’ve got another game coming up.”