LEEDS UNITED teenage striker Luke Parkin admits he was delighted to cast aside a spot of frustration to provide the finishing touch to the Whites’ development squad’s 2-1 win over Brentford on Monday evening.
The 19-year-old netted the winning goal at Elland Road five minutes from time, heading in Chris Dawson’s corner - after entering the fray as a substitute on 70 minutes.
Parkin, involved in the first-team squad ahead of the home game with Fulham just before Christmas, has found his pathway to the U21s blocked several times this winter, with first-team squad players preferred.
But Parkin is happy to play the long game and will keep persevering in his quest to secure a regular starting spot again, with longer-term hopes of being involved with the first-team squad further down the line.
Parkin said: “It’s been quite frustrating not playing week in, week out because the first-team players have been playing for the under-21s.
“All I can do when I get a chance; if I am starting or on the bench, is just work hard and try and score goals and try and impress and score goals; that’s me really. That’s all I can do.”
Savouring his winner, he added: “I was just on the goalkeeper. The ball got played in by Daws and I just went to head it and managed to flick it in the net.
“We had a lot of chances in the game. When we went 1-0 down and got one back, I just thought ‘If I can one here, it would be great’. And I did, so it was pleasing. I thought we played really well.”
On his hopes of following in the footsteps of several of his contemporaries and being more involved with the first-team, Parkin added: “Redders (Neil Redfearn) keeps saying that we are the future and that we’ll get in.
“People have been on the bench like Kalvin (Phillips) and in the squad and it’s been good.
“We’ve all just got to keep going.
“I thought Kalvin was the best player on the field (against Brentford) and was the best player on the pitch. A lot of us, whether it is this season or next, have a good chance of trying to get through.
“Redders keeps his eye on the under-21s and if you are impressing him, that’s good.”