Leeds United: v Blackburn Rovers: Bridcutt may return for EFL Cup game

Liam Bridcutt.
Liam Bridcutt.
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Liam Bridcutt is due to return to contention for Tuesday’s League Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers after a foot injury forced him to sit out of the 2-0 win at Cardiff City.

Leeds United’s captain missed the trip to Wales with a problem sustained in last week’s Championship victory over Blackburn but the midfielder should be passed fit for another meeting between United and the Ewood Park club.

Blackburn will make their second visit to Elland Road in the space of eight days on Tuesday after the draw for the EFL Cup’s third round paired the two second-tier sides together.

Leeds got the better of Rovers last Tuesday through an 87th-minute winner from Kyle Bartley but the result came at the cost of a minor injury to Bridcutt.

Monk opted not to risk him in Cardiff, giving Bridcutt more time to recover from a swollen foot, and youngster Ronaldo Vieira stepped into fill the gap in central midfield.

Monk said: “Liam just missed out.

“I didn’t want to risk him because there was still some swelling on the foot but he should be back in contention for the game in the cup.”

United’s head coach made a total of 11 changes to his starting team for Leeds’ League Cup second-round win at Luton Town last month, resting the line-up which produced a 2-0 Championship victory at Sheffield Wednesday four days earlier.

Monk insisted that he was planning to make fewer alterations against Blackburn on Tuesday but said: “I have to assess the players over the next couple of days and see who’s fresh. Like I have said before, the whole squad will be used.

“We’ve got a lot of games to play and freshness plays a big part but our aim is to win this game. We want to progress in the cup and keep the momentum we have.”

Leeds are bidding for a third straight win having recovered quickly from a derby defeat to Huddersfield Town on September 10, a result which nudged the club into the Championship’s bottom three.

Monk insisted that the pressure on him had not affected his players, saying: “It was always about the belief we had. Every day I see it in the players’ faces and their attitude – how they train and how they are.

“You have to get results and the players were fully aware of that, as well as I am. But we stayed true to what we believed in and we’ve put it out on the pitch. We’re getting there.

“In the first half (at Cardiff) we didn’t really get going on the offensive side but in the second half we always looked likely to get a goal.

“We could have had a couple more had we been a bit more clever in our decision-making but I can’t complain. It was a very good away performance.”

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