Mark Jackson lays down challenge to Leeds United players ahead of Manchester United showdown

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Mark Jackson has challenged his Leeds United players to find a spark and earn all three points against arch rivals Manchester United.

The Whites Under-23s outfit travel to Leigh Sports Village on Saturday lunchtime as they return to Premier League 2 action.

Leeds will take on their old enemy for the first time since earning promotion to the top tier of England's academy football pyramid.

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United's development squad head into the game in poor form having failed to win a match since the EFL Trophy victory over Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park on September 28.

Leeds United development coach Mark Jackson. Pic: Leeds UnitedLeeds United development coach Mark Jackson. Pic: Leeds United
Leeds United development coach Mark Jackson. Pic: Leeds United

Jackson's side bowed out of the tournament in midweek at Salford City in a 5-3 defeat and will be looking to earn a first win in five league matches against the Red Devils - who sit two places and two points above them in sixth place.

"We're in a moment where we're not in a great run of form," Jackson told the YEP.

"There's elements from every game which you look upon and think 'fantastic'. We've got to have the mindset where we come together and come back across the Pennines with three points.

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"That's what I have challenged them to do. It isn't win at all cost - we know that. There's a certain way we want to play.

"But we have to go with a mindset that whoever is in the group or squad and in the dressing room or on the bus going across that we need three points. We need a spark and that has to start on Saturday."

Asked about how big the occasion is when Leeds face Manchester United whatever the level, Jackson added: "It is for me growing up as a Leeds fan. I'm sure the boys will know about the rivalry.

"It's not only the rivalry either but Manchester United are a world-renowned academy and we're back amongst them now competing. We need to use the game as a focus and prepare to go across and get three points."