Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn has hinted that he will look again to Steve Morison to help reverse the club’s form, denying that the striker is out of the picture at Elland Road.
Redfearn described Morison as a “big target man” and a “different option” and said the maligned forward was in his plans, despite his bit-part role in United’s Championship season.
Morison has made two starts and five substitute appearances in the league and he did not make either of the squads for United’s defeat at Derby County on December 30 or their FA Cup loss to Sunderland last weekend.
The 31-year-old voiced frustration about his lack of chances earlier in the term but this season has been a continuation of his unproductive career at Elland Road.
Leeds traded Luciano Becchio and £200,000 for Morison from Norwich City two years ago but the ex-Millwall forward has never established himself and spent the whole of last season on loan at the Den. His contract runs for another 18 months to the end of the 2015-16 season but the opening of the January transfer window raised the question of whether Leeds would attempt to end his stay at Elland Road in the next few weeks.
The club are planning changes to their squad after reaching the halfway point of the campaign in 20th position.
But asked if Morison still had a part to play Redfearn, who recently switched to a 4-2-3-1 system with a lone striker up front, said: “Definitely. Nobody’s out of the squad completely because we’re trying to find a way.
“We’re feeling our way round to a position where we’re picking results up again and we’ve got to use all of our resources. Steve’s an experienced guy, he’s a big target man and he gives us a different option. All the lads have to know they’re part of it here but I’ve been trying get us as consistent as we can. Initially it worked but then we lost our way. We have to find a different way.”
Morison is likely to be included in United’s squad away to Bolton Wanderers today.
Meanwhile, defender Giuseppe Bellusci has formally denied a charge of racism brought against him by the Football Association.
The centre-back is accused of racially abusing Norwich striker Cameron Jerome during a league game at Carrow Road in October, and offence he denies.
Bellusci, who faces a minimum five-game ban if found guilty, notified the FA of his intention to fight the charge ahead of a deadline set for him to respond yesterday. A date for the Italian’s hearing is yet to be finalised.