Brighton Hove Albion v Leeds United: Bridcutt will be back to face former club

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MIDFIELDER Liam Bridcutt will return to the Leeds United squad for Monday’s trip to Brighton for which winger Mustapha Carayol could also make the match-day 18.

Striker Chris Wood, though, will still be out with a hamstring injury, as expected, while centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci serves the second game of a two-match ban.

Liam Bridcutt.

Liam Bridcutt.

Bridcutt missed Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at home to Fulham for personal reasons after attending a funeral and Evans revealed the midfielder went to great lengths in a bid to still make it to Elland Road.

But the 26-year-old Sunderland loanee will definitely return for Monday’s Championship clash against his former side Brighton, where Middlesbrough loanee Carayol could also return from a groin strain.

Evans said of Bridcutt: “I have just seen his car come in this morning so he’s in the building. Our thoughts went out with the wee man a couple of weeks ago and of course my thoughts were with him on Tuesday.

“And he looked into every way possible, helicopters and everything, to come from Reading to the game and we had to make a decision which was easier for us to implement.

“We said ‘go and pay the respects the way you want to, the way you should do, and we will worry about you and pick you back up in a couple of days’ time.’”

Bridcuttt will be lining up against his former side on Monday but Evans has no qualms in playing the defensive midfielder against a club he spent four years at before being sold to Sunderland.

“I’ve just got to hope that he doesn’t go in the wrong dressing room,” laughed Evans.

“He was fantastic at Brighton of course. They sold him for a lot of money up to Sunderland but I have always believed that players playing against their previous clubs, they will always give that extra little edge.

“But with somebody like Liam, with the focus and the professionalism that he has, and I see it on a daily basis, it won’t be about Brighton for him. It will be about a team in white.

“I know his affinity for that club and the people around it but we have to make the decision that’s right, to impact on the game against Brighton.”

Asked for the latest on Carayol, Evans revealed: “He’s coming back into full training today so that’s good news.

“Is Brighton maybe going to be a stretch too far? We will look at that on Sunday/Monday but certainly if not Brighton then certainly for Bolton - 100 per cent for Bolton.

“Hopefully we have got him in the travelling party going down to Brighton on Sunday.”