Leeds United Under-23s - from the notebook: Now or never for Izzy Brown, back to winning ways and more minutes for injured stars

Leeds United#s Under-23s secured a 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Monday afternoon - but what were some of the key talking points?

Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 10:12 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 10:17 am
Leeds United playmaker Izzy Brown. (credit: Leeds United)

Izzy Brown - is it now or never?

After coming through 90 minutes on Friday evening, Izzy Brown completed another half of football on Monday afternoon.

Following the injury to Kemar Roofe, who Leeds say they will monitor on a weekly basis, Brown's long-awaited first-team bow may just be around the corner.

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The 22-year-old has now played in the equivalent of five-and-a-half games following Marcelo Bielsa's declaration that he would need at least six matches with the development team before being considered for selection.

Following Brown's inclusion in the past two Championship matchday squads, and after coming through 145 minutes of action in the space of three days, it feels like we're finally at crunch time.

The season has reached a crucial stage with 14 fixtures to go and the loss of Roofe means a spot at number 10 has opened up in the Whites' line-up.

United have invested time, effort and, more recently, money into the playmaker as they have overseen much of his rehabilitation from a torn ACL 13 months ago.

Now feels like the perfect time to see if Brown can repay the faith shown in him by United, at a stage where his team-mates might just need him.

He cannot be judged solely on his performances for the Under-23s so far but four goals over the course of his outings suggest there's been an element of success.

Brown has provided a positive impact in patches and looked out of sorts in other but is it to be expected having been missing from senior action for over a year.

The Championship is where he will be judged and Leeds will ultimately find out whether it has been a worthwhile investment over the course of the last seven months.

His legs look ready - but is he? There's only one way to find out and that must surely now start against Bolton this weekend, with at least a cameo appearance should the opportunity arise.

Lead restored and back to winnings ways

With the 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers at Elland Road on Monday, United restored their four-point gap at the top of the PDL North.

Carlos Corberan's men suffered a first defeat of 2019 last week at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday before beating Notts County in the Premier League Cup on Friday.

Goals from Jordan Stevens and Robbie Gotts, who celebrated his new contract in style, were just 90 seconds apart after the hour mark and enough to lift the Whites to all three points against Bolton.

Corberan's half-time substitutions made a huge difference for Leeds as Stevens, Alfie McCalmont and Leif Davis all stepped off the bench to help push United to victory.

Stevens took the headlines with his goal but McCalmont managed things perfectly in the middle of the park, with Davis a calm figure alongside Aapo Halme in the heart of defence.

Attention now turns to Friday evening for the Whites as they make the trip to Nottingham Forest for another league game.

Gaetano Berardi and Stuart Dallas - more minutes

Gaetano Berardi and Stuart Dallas continued to step up their return from injury with the Whites' development side on Monday.

Both players completed 45 minutes for Carlos Corberan's side, starting a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers before being replaced at the break.

Berardi is recovering from a hamstring issue that has kept him out since late October while Dallas is nursing an ankle issue picked up in training, having overcome a foot fracture that sidelined him in December.