Leeds United: Evans adopts a no-risk policy for ‘important’ players

Steve Evans.
Steve Evans.
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Leeds United’s Alex Mowatt is poised to resume full training tomorrow but head coach Steve Evans says he will apply a “no-risks policy” to both the midfielder and striker Chris Wood.

Mowatt is close to recovering from the groin strain which forced him to miss three games after Christmas and he is expected to be passed fit for Leeds’ FA Cup tie at home to Rotherham United on Saturday.

Evans, however, is considering resting the midfielder with United set for vital league games away at Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday after the weekend.

Wood, meanwhile, could also be left out of the third-round clash with Rotherham having injured a hamstring in last week’s 2-2 draw with Derby County. The striker, who sat out Saturday’s game against MK Dons, is due to begin training again at the end of this week, but Evans insisted: “It’s a no-risks policy with both of them.

“They’re important players and players we don’t want to be without. There’ve been times in the last few weeks when they’ve been missed but they need to recover fully.

“The medical staff are well on top of all this and young Alex should be back with the group tomorrow. We’re hopeful that Chris will be involved by the end of the week.”

Evans plans to make full use of his squad against Rotherham and vowed to “freshen it up” after a 1-1 draw against MK Dons.

The Leeds boss, however, held his hands up to a “bad performance” against MK Dons on Saturday and said he had no intention of handing Neil Redfearn’s Rotherham easy passage into round four of the FA Cup.

Rotherham – the club Evans managed before Leeds – inflicted a 1-0 defeat on United during their last visit to Elland Road in November.

“We’ll take a bad performance square on the face,” Evans said. “I’m the coach and I’ll take it.

“I want to make sure we win this weekend because coming to Elland Road, it’s only nice when we’re winning.

“It’s not nice when you’re not winning.”