Brian McDermott says he will not be tempted into giving a spate of senior debuts to players from Leeds United’s academy as the club head for a quiet finish to the Championship term.
United’s season effectively ended with four games to go last weekend after a 2-0 win over Blackpool ruled out the possibility of McDermott’s squad engaging in a late fight against relegation.
Leeds, who travel to Barnsley this afternoon, will record a mid-table finish in two weeks’ time and have nothing left to compete for but the club’s manager played down the option of using a benign situation to blood members of United’s development squad.
McDermott handed a first-team debut to teenage midfielder Alex Mowatt in August and recently named young striker Lewis Walters on the bench for a 4-1 defeat at Bournemouth but the United boss said: “I’ve never been one to put players into the team just because they’re academy players.
“I put players in because they’re ready to go in – Mowatt, Sam Byram, Tom Lees people like that. It has to be right, not just because they’re from the academy.
“We’ve got players coming through but some of them are 16 and 17, and that’s quite young at this stage.”