THomas Christiansen voiced relief after Kalvin Phillips came through Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City unscathed amid the threat of a one-match ban.
The Leeds United midfielder was named in Christiansen’s starting line-up at the King Power Stadium despite sitting one booking away from a suspension which would have ruled him out of tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby against Sheffield United.
Christiansen made 10 changes to the line-up used in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Bristol City but left Phillips in the side, resting Eunan O’Kane and restricting Ronaldo Vieira to a short appearance as a substitute.
Vieira replaced Phillps with 19 minutes to go, ensuring that Phillips avoided a fifth yellow card of the season and was available for Leeds’ Championship clash with third-placed Sheffield United.
Christiansen said: “It was important that Kalvin didn’t see any yellow cards.
“It was one of the biggest problems or issues in the game but he passed through it very well.”
United’s head coach is expected to revert to most of the players used at Ashton Gate for tomorrow’s home meeting with Chris Wilder’s Blades.
Gaetano Berardi will make way at left-back after his red card against Bristol City but Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s chances of replacing him have been hit by an ankle injury suffered at Leicester.
The on-loan Manchester United left-back made only his fifth appearance of the season on Tuesday and his first since a disappointing outing in a third-round win over Burnley last month.
Borthwick-Jackson produced a steady first-half display but was replaced by Luke Ayling at half-time having pulled up near his own box. Christainsen said: “We changed him because he had a problem with his ankle but his performance was much better than at Burnley.
“I said to him that he had to be more focused and aggressive and he reacted well.”