Leeds United Under-23s - from the notebook: No rest for Marcelo Bielsa, senior stars return and Premier League Cup progress in Whites hands

Leeds United Under-23s were in action at Guiseley on Friday evening.Leeds United Under-23s were in action at Guiseley on Friday evening.
Leeds United Under-23s were in action at Guiseley on Friday evening.
Leeds United's Under-23s side secured a 2-1 victory over Notts County in the Premier League Cup on Friday evening - but what were the key talking points?

Berardi and Dallas back in action as senior stars feature

Leeds United duo Gaetano Berardi and Stuart Dallas both returned to action on Friday evening as the duo completed the opening 30 minutes of the fixture.

Berardi was making his second attempt at a comeback after suffering a severe hamstring tear in late October that ruled him out for up to four months.

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Dallas has also been missing since early December having recovered from a foot fracture only to pick up an ankle issue in training upon his return.

The pair made a welcome appearance back in competitive action as they came through unscathed and will now look to pick up more minutes on Monday afternoon with the development team.

Dallas produced a number of darting runs, while Berardi helped earn United a penalty with a perfectly-weighted through ball for Izzy Brown who duly converted from the spot after being tumbled over.

The 22-year-old also came through 90 minutes of action alongside fellow first-team members Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Tyler Roberts as the Chelsea loanee's wait goes on for his Whites debut following 13 months out with a torn ACL.

Familiar problems...

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A familiar problem reared its head at Nethermoor on Friday night at Guiseley.

United dominated the fixture from the first minute to the last creating countless chances but poor finishing, wasted chances and wrong decisions at the vital moment allowed County a way back into the game with a sublime free-kick from forward Will Patching.

Similarly to the first-team in recent months the attacking free flowing football and high press was on display with Leeds producing some brilliant football up until the final third.

Substitute Ryan Edmondson struck three minutes from time with a low finish from inside the area to secure all three points and bail United out of jail but a more clinical performance will be needed over the coming days.

No rest for Marcelo Bielsa

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After claiming last week that he would take a break to see the sights of Yorkshire Marcelo Bielsa stopped off at Guiseley to get his weekend football fix.

United's head coach attended the fixture with sporting director Victor Orta and a number of his coaching staff at Nethermoor.

The Argentine stopped for photos with fans at half-time and will have been impressed with what he saw from United's development team.

Premier League Cup qualification - Whites in pole position

Following the victory United have pushed themselves into second spot in Group H.

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Leaders Newcastle United have already secured qualification to the knockout stage on 11 points with United second on 9, Southampton third on 7 and Notts County bottom with a single point from five games.

As the group stage heads to its final match day United will host the Magpies on February 25.

Victory will see the Whites progress as group winners alongside their counterparts, while a point may not be enough with the Saints facing County on the same evening.

Coaching staff verdict - Danny Schofield

Under-23s coach Danny Schofield spoke to LUTV following the 2-1 victory:

On the game...

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"It keeps us in with a shout of qualifying now. It's in our hands with the game against Newcastle next week. I think it was a thoroughly deserved win in an entertaining game. We created a lot of chances."

On the Premier League Cup...

"I think we had a but of a slow start in the Premier League Cup. We found our feet with a really good performance and result against Southampton.

"It's in our hands so hopefully we can progress because it is a really good competition. It's really competitive and one the lads are really enjoying."

On failing to convert chances...

"I think so. We created a lot of good chances. The build up play was really, really good. Some great concepts and movements that we've worked on and getting in behind with the combination play.

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"We had full-backs overlapping and underlapping in some really good areas but it was just that final third and final part of the game where we lacked. I think it was very similar to the Sheffield Wednesday game (on Tuesday).

"We were a lot better tonight but again that final third wasn't there but I think it will come."

On one defeat in 2019 so far...

"It's been really positive. In the 23s this season, as you know, we have a lot of first team players playing.

"Sometimes they do. Sometimes it is just the 23s group but I think it is fantastic for the young players to play with these experienced players.

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"Particularly with Berra, Izzy Brown and Tyler Roberts who have experienced a lot. I think it's really, really positive in the young players progression."

Not time for rest...

There will be not time for rest for the development side as the games keeping coming thick and fast.

United are back in action at Elland Road on Monday afternoon against Bolton Wanderers (1pm) in the PDL north before making the trip to Nottingham Forest on Friday evening also in league action.

The following Monday Leeds have their Premier League Cup showdown with Newcastle United at Guiseley (7pm) which will complete a run of four games in 13 days which began at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday lunchtime.

Under-23s fixtures:

Mon Feb 18 Bolton Wanderers H (Elland Road 1:00pm)

Fri Feb 22 Nottingham Forest A (Alfreton 7:00pm)

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Mon Feb 25 Newcastle United H (Nethermoor Park 7:00pm) PL Cup

Mon Mar 4 Watford A (Vicarage Road 2:00pm)

Mon Mar 11 Charlton Athletic H (Elland Road 7:00pm)

Mon Mar 25 Colchester United A (Jobserve Community Stadium 7:00pm)

Mon Apr 8 Ipswich Town H (Elland Road 7:00pm)

Mon Apr 15 Crystal Palace A (Selhurst Park 1:00pm)