Leeds United 0 Fulham 1: Redfearn angry with Rudy’s late cry-off

Rudy Austin.
Rudy Austin.
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Neil Redfearn aired frustration with Leeds United midfielder Rodolph Austin after a gamble on an ankle injury suffered by the Jamaican ended with Austin withdrawing at the last minute from Saturday’s game against Fulham.

Austin was named on the bench for the Championship match at Elland Road, despite picking up a knock in training on Friday.

But Redfearn replaced him with Chris Dawson half-an-hour before kick-off after Austin failed to complete the warm-up.

Redfearn said he was under the impression that Austin was fit for inclusion and said the club needed to be “more professional” in clarifying the condition of injured players.

Leeds lost 1-0 to Fulham, conceding the only goal of the game to Hugo Rodallega on the hour, and Austin was likely to have been used towards the end of a tight match.

Twenty-year-old Dawson appeared for the final 15 minutes, his second first-team appearance of the season.

Head coach Redfearn said: “Rudy’s was a strange one. It happened in training on Friday and he had a knock on his ankle but I thought nothing of it.

“Then we came out to warm up and it was a problem for him.

“That’s a bit disappointing. We want to be a bit more professional than that and have a good idea of what’s happening before we warm up.

“You’d like to think that you know whether you’re fit or not. If it’s a knock that’s so serious then we should know about it. But he obviously didn’t think it was that bad.”

Leeds were without centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci for the second week running on Saturday, unable to use him because of a hamstring strain, but current captain Stephen Warnock appears to have avoided a serious injury having left the field in the closing stages of the defeat to Fulham.

The left-back pulled up a minute before the end of normal time, forcing Redfearn to rethink his plan to introduce Michael Tonge from the bench. The Leeds boss threw on Gaetano Berardi instead.

Warnock has been one of United’s most consistent players this season and Redfearn said: “We’ll have to assess it. It could be down to tiredness because he hasn’t missed much football. The pitch was quite heavy.”

Warnock, however, said later that he was suffering for cramp due to illness.

Writing on Twitter, the 32-year-old said: “Not pulled my hamstring, I wasn’t feeling well during the game and got dehydrated and cramped up.”

Leeds had chances to win Saturday’s game and Alex Mowatt struck the crossbar during a goalless first half but Redfearn bemoaned an “off-day” at home after Rodallega’s finish inflicted United’s 10th defeat of the season.

“It’s really disappointing because we’d got to that stage where we had some momentum at home,” Redfearn said.

“We’ve had some good results, some good performances and we’ve been scoring goals but it turned and it didn’t quite happen.

“We didn’t quite reach the same heights.”

Redfearn’s side go to Nottingham Forest this weekend for their final fixture before Christmas. The club have been hampered but consistently poor results away from home and Redfearn said: “We might have to look at what we do away from home – to be different or more dogged.”