Mark Jackson highlights potential of young Leeds United winger and provides Mateo Joseph Fernandez update

Leeds United under-23s boss Mark Jackson says an in-form young Whites winger has now set a 'minimum benchmark' that must be maintained and then bettered.

By Lee Sobot
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 1:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 1:40 pm

Nineteen-year-old flyer Amari Miller has now been with Leeds for nearly seven months and netted a scorching strike for United's under-23s in Monday night's clash against Derby County under-23s.

The ex-Birmingham City winger cut in from the right flank and worked an opening before sending a majestic curled finish into the top left corner from around 25 yards out.

The goal laid the foundations for an important 2-0 victory and Jackson says the teen's strike and overall performance must now work as a platform to reach bigger and better things.

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POTENTIAL: Of 19-year-old Leeds United under-23s winger Amari Miller highlighted by boss Mark Jackson, above. Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images.

Pressed on Miller adding more of an end product to his game - and pearlers like Monday's against the Rams - Jackson pondered: "I'm not going to add it to his game, I am maybe going to get it out of him because he can do that. I have seen that and we know what Amari can do.

"We know he can do that. It's about getting him up to be more consistent and in a good place to do that.

"Over the last two games, against Wigan I thought he looked a real threat in one to one situations and, yes, he wants to improve on his end products.

"He got the one tonight where he can cut inside and produce a goal like that and he has got that in the locker, we know that.

"Now it's about Amari working hard and keeping his levels of performance at this level as a minimum benchmark and going even higher because he has got a lot of potential.

"Yes, he will be pleased with that but I am sure he will want to push on and become more consistent at that."

Miller's glorious goal was eventually added to by a smart finish from Charlie Allen in the closing stages to seal a victory that took the young Whites out of the Premier League Two Division One drop zone.

But mirroring events of United's first team of late, Jackson's side had to overcome more injuries en route to victory.

Winger Stuart McKinstry was forced off in the early stages after taking a whack on the leg and replaced by Archie Gray who himself picked up a knock before being substituted during the break.

Jackson, though, is optimistic that both players will be back soon and the under-23s boss has also provided an encouraging update over January recruit Mateo Joseph Fernandez.

Leeds further bolstered their under-23s ranks by signing highly-rated 18-year-old striker Fernandez from Espanyol earlier this month but the forward who was born in Spain to English parents has yet to feature.

That, though, looks set to soon change.

Asked if there were any players near to making a return, Jackson revealed: "Mateo Joseph will be back with the group.

"He has been out for a few days but he will be back in.

"He's been working really hard on the fitness side of it and getting up to speed with things so he will be up for contention soon.

"Everybody else is just working away so we will work with whatever we have got."

Providing an initial update on McKinstry and Gray, Jackson said: "There were a few cramping towards the end because the boys were working really hard, they were cramping towards the end but they are fine.

"Stuart has got a little knock on his leg and I think he had to have maybe a couple of stitches in, it hasn't been confirmed as yet.

"Archie took a bit of a knock on his ankle but some of them players we were going to have them enforced changes anyway.

"They were always down to play a set amount of minutes so hopefully they will recover quickly with them being knocks and things like that and be back in contention for the next game or when needed."

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