Leeds United: Whites end interest in trialist Stewart

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Leeds United will send a strong reserve team to Hull City tonight as manager Simon Grayson considers his response to the club’s heavy defeat at Swansea City.

Leeds are set to involve eight first-team players at North Ferriby United, a possible hint at changes to come ahead of Saturday’s Championship clash with Doncaster Rovers.

Ben Parker, Richard Naylor, Billy Paynter and Sanchez Watt have all been pencilled in for an appearance against Hull this evening.

But midfielder Michael Stewart will not feature after Leeds confirmed that they have ended his trial with the club.

The out-of-contract 29-year-old complete a fortnight of training at Thorp Arch but moved on last week having failed to appear as planned in a reserve game against Lincoln City.

Leeds, who are in the market for new midfielders, planned to assess Stewart in their totesport.com League East Division fixture at Sincil Bank but the club were unable to secure international clearance in time to include him in their line-up.

The lack of paperwork cast immediate doubt over the possibility of Stewart earning a full-time deal at Elland Road, and United are no longer pursuing the possibility of adding the former Manchester United trainee to their squad.

Stewart was available on a free transfer after terminating an agreement held with Turkish side Genclerbirligi.

Tonight’s team is also expected to feature goalkeeper Shane Higgs, midfielders Ramon Nunez and Adam Clayton, and Scottish forward Ross McCormack.

Grayson is weighing up his options after a 3-0 loss to Swansea on Saturday damaged Leeds’ prospects of claiming automatic promotion from the Championship.

Grayson criticised his team’s performance and admitted that “overall we got what we deserved out of the game and that was a defeat.”

United’s position in the play-offs will come under threat this weekend with Leicester City two points adrift of sixth place.

Leeds’ second string, meanwhile, are looking to recover from their forgettable appearance at Sincil Bank last Tuesday when a youthful team were beaten 3-0 by Lincoln.

Nunez, above, and striker Mike Grella were among the players fielded by coach Neil Redfearn but Grella has since taken up a loan deal at Swindon Town.

The American made his debut for Swindon in a 4-1 defeat at Southampton on Saturday.

United (probable) v Hull City, ko 7pm: Higgs, Thompson, Parker, Clayton, Naylor, L Turner, N Turner, Nunez, Paynter, McCormack, Watt.

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