Leeds United under-23s - from the notebook: Bielsa keeps his word, Edmondson picks up knock, Douglas completes comeback and a right-back solution?

Leeds United's under-23s played out a 2-1 victory over Hull City at Thorp Arch on Monday afternoon - but what did we learn from the fixture?

Monday, 29th October 2018, 4:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th October 2018, 3:16 am
Leeds United's under-23s from the notebook.

Marcelo Bielsa keeps to his word

True to his word the Argentine continues to use the under-23s for those who need valuable minutes in his senior squad.

A mix of youth and experience started the game with Barry Douglas, Jamal Blackman, Lewis Baker, Jack Clarke, Jack Harrison, Jamie Shackleton and Tyler Roberts all made available.

Leeds United's under-23s from the notebook.

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Ryan Edmondson also took his place in the line-up leading the attack with Robbie Gotts, Conor Shaughnessy and Leif Davis completing the side.

Bielsa has always remained a believer in using the Professional Development League to keep the fitness up of those on the fringes of the first-team and Monday was no different.

The Argentine cast his eye over the 2-1 victory, as did Tigers boss Nigel Adkins, and will have been impressed with what he saw over the course of 90 minutes.

United's possession based football continues to filter down through the age groups at Thorp Arch and it was on show with the Whites deserving their three points over City.

Harrison, Baker, Clarke and Roberts in particular stood out but it was more important minutes for the fitness for those who may be called upon in the coming weeks with Bielsa's squad becoming thinner by the game.

Can we read anything into the right-back crisis? Is there a solution in the development squad?

United were hit by the news that first choice right-back Luke Ayling will be sidelined for two months after damaging the ligaments in his right knee against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Jamie Shackleton, who has been called upon on the right side of the defence, started the game in the centre of midfield alongside Lewis Baker on Monday with Robbie Gotts at right-back.

The 18-year-old defender has put in a number of impressive performances for the under-23s this season and provides Corberan's side with natural width and pace down the wing.

Whether Bielsa believes Gotts to be ready to make the leap up to Championship action with Ayling and Berardi sidelined remains to be seen but with the boss watching on he did his chances no harm at all.

Stuart Dallas appears to be the front runner to start at Wigan on Sunday but Gotts, along with Shackleton, is another option should the Argentine wish to delve into the academy for the trip to the DW Stadium.

Ryan Edmondson continues fine form... and picks up a knock

The 18-year-old striker continued his fine spell of form in front of goal once again after prodding home to give Leeds the lead against Hull from a Jack Clarke cross on Monday afternoon.

Edmondson however had to leave the field immediately after opening the scoring having struggled with a knock which he picked up as he collided with Tyler Roberts in the Tigers area.

The striker made it six goals in just three games for the Whites at under-23s level and should he shake off the injury that forced his early exit he has given Bielsa food for thought for inclusion on the bench at Wigan next weekend.

Barry Douglas steps up comeback

As one full-back re-enters Bielsa's reckoning another leaves but Barry Douglas' return to action will be music to Whites fans ears.

The Scotsman came through an hour before being replaced by Tom Pearce at Thorp Arch and appeared in good shape ahead of his comeback at first-team level this weekend.

Douglas has been missed on the left side of defence over the past month and with his return now almost complete coming through 60 minutes unscathed indicates he is back and firing on all cylinders once again.