'A little nugget' - David Prutton on the 'vital' importance of Leeds United's Carabao Cup clash against Crewe
David Prutton knows the league takes clear precedence, but says Tuesday's Carabao Cup clash against Crewe is vital in its own way for Leeds United Football Club.
Marcelo Bielsa's Whites will take on David Artell's League One visitors in a break from United's Premier League campaign in which Leeds sealed their first point of the new season against Everton on Saturday.
Former Whites midfielder Prutton knows the riches of the Premier League will always override any cup competition - but says Tuesday's clash against Crewe at Elland Road and the prospect of a cup run is a golden opportunity to shine for United's youngsters.
Bielsa could be expected to make plenty of changes for the clash as Leeds bid to ignite some sort of cup run having fallen at their first hurdle in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup last term.
The Whites have gone out in the FA Cup third round for the last three seasons and have also failed to make it past the EFL Cup second stage during that time.
"Leeds have been poor in the FA Cup and poor in the Carabao Cup," Prutton told the YEP.
"Whether that is viewed or seen by Marcelo as a separate entity I don't know but it's vital that the young kids get game time.
"That in turn gives them the kind of cache of being able to show the manager if needs be and the opportunity comes to arise in the Premier League that he might have a little nugget there that he can chuck in.
"There are no games at this level regardless of what the competition is that are frivolous or can be tossed away and I don't for one second think that's what the approach from Leeds United is like.
"You can't mistreat these cups and these different competitions.
"But with what is at stake in the Premier League and just how big and the Premier League has become and how it is prioritised if we were speaking at the end of the season which had Leeds knocked out of both cups early doors but were still in the Premier League and finished strongly then slightly cynically I think Leeds fans would take that.
"I don't think that is a million miles away from what the general consensus would be but I would like to thank the romance is there enough for a fan to think I wouldn't mind seeing our young lads give it a blast in one of these cups and see how far they can get."
Assessing the competition as United's best chance of challenging for some silverware, Prutton said: "Absolutely that is the case, without a doubt because of the very nature of what a cup competition is.
"Leeds can be good on their day but to win the Premier League you need clout, resources and a hefty slice of luck on your side.
"We have seen Leicester do it obviously but even that is viewed as a separate entity and they were still well backed.
"The cups are a huge opportunity for any club to get a form of silverware but it's still a long road."
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Thank you Laura Collins