Bailey Peacock-Farrell receives Marcelo Bielsa backing ahead of Leeds United return

Bailey Peacock-Farrell received a vote of “full confidence” from Marcelo Bielsa as he prepared to return to Leeds United’s line-up.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 5:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 5:18 pm
Leeds United goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Bielsa said he expected Peacock-Farrell to “play with success” on his first start for more than two months at home to Millwall on Saturday.

The Northern Ireland international will replace Kiko Casilla after the Spaniard was sent off for a professional foul in Leeds’ last Championship game against Sheffield United.

Casilla was hit with a mandatory one-match ban, a punishment United chose not to appeal, and will watch from the stands as Peacock-Farrell reclaims the place he lost in January.

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The 22-year-old was dropped to the bench on the back of Casilla’s high-profile free transfer from Real Madrid and questions about his form.

Bielsa had previously considered replacing him with former Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman in November but was prevented from doing so after Blackman’s season was ended by a broken leg.

Peacock-Farrell started a total of 27 games and made way for Casilla at a time when United were top of the Championship.

Bielsa, who spoke in November about the need for Peacock-Farrell to improve his game, said: “We can only talk about the improvement of a player after a game but you can talk about the confidence of a player after training and I feel that he’s going to play with success.

“We have full confidence in his participation but we’ll see his evolution in the game.”

Peacock-Farrell spent time away with Northern Ireland during the international break, playing in European Championship qualifying wins over Estonia and Belarus.

Bielsa expects those competitive appearances to help Peacock-Farrell against Millwall, saying: “It was something positive for him, very positive.”