'It's what we want' - Leeds United Under-23s clued up on West Ham ahead of Thorp Arch test

Mark Jackson says Leeds United will be clued up on West Ham ahead of this weekend's Premier League 2 clash.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 7:00 am
Leeds United Under-23s head coach Mark Jackson. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

The Whites were in action in midweek at academy level and face a swift turnaround for the visit of the Hammers to West Yorkshire.

Leeds opted to field what was essentially an Under-18s side in the Premier League Cup in York in On Wednesday, falling to a a narrow 2-1 defeat to Group E opponents Wigan Athletic.

United, though, are expected to welcome back into the fold a number of their youth internationals with Jackson able to call on more of his Under-23 regulars as league action resumes.

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Leeds have won two out of the club's opening three games as they adjust to a new division following promotion at development level last term.

West Ham will offer another stern test at Thorp Arch this afternoon with kick-off set for 1pm behind closed doors.

"It's another test. We've been watching West Ham a lot in the build-up to this," Jackson told the YEP ahead of the PL2 meeting.

"As well as preparing for Wigan [on Wednesday] and Tranmere next Tuesday [in the EFL Trophy] we've been preparing for the next one against West Ham. It's another game we're looking forward to.

"It could be a completely different team [to Wigan] but we're expecting a tough challenge from West Ham. They're a strong and powerful team who have been at that level for a long time, but that's why we're here.

"It's why we were so pleased to get promoted because we're going to be challenging ourselves against the top teams and that's what we want on a weekly basis."

United saw Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood, Cody Drameh, Lewis Bate and Charlie Cresswell all called into international action for England's youth teams over the recent break.

Joffy, as Gelhardt is affectionately known, bagged two goals for the Three Lions' Under-20s side in a 6-1 win over Romania.

All five could return alongside the likes of Crysencio Summerville, Amari Miller and Kristoffer Klaesson among others.

"First and foremost it's really pleasing to see the amount of international players we've got away with their countries - not just England," added Jackson.

"That's really positive for the club and not just the academy. We see the games, we watch the videos and we create the compacts for the players to feed back to them from international duty.

"It was pleasing to see Joffy score. We'll give feedback to the players about what we thought their performances were like for England and the other countries where they've been playing."