NEIL REDFEARN is urging Chris Dawson to keep persevering in his quest to be the next young Leeds United starlet propelled into the first team.
While the likes of Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt and Sam Byram are fully recognised as integral members of the United squad, with Charlie Taylor also now establishing himself, Dawson is still awaiting his big breakthrough.
Despite being impressive for the development squad this season, the Dewsbury-born midfielder, now 20, has featured just twice for the first team in 2014-15.
Both appearances have come off the substitutes’ bench, with his last appearance coming in the 1-0 loss to Fulham on December 16.
Redfearn says at this current juncture that being in and around the first-team squad is the best option for the pint-sized schemer, handed his full debut in the home game against Derby County on April 1, 2013.
But the United head coach admits that there may come a time in the future when he will need to go out on loan to further aid his development.
Yet as it stands, Dawson is better on deck at Leeds, according to Redfearn.
Redfearn said: “We have got a really talented group of young players and some are (currently) in and some are out, some around about it, some close.
“And Chris is close, he has just got to keep persevering.
“These are my kids I have brought through and I love them and they are going to be great players for Leeds United.
“It is very rare you can get them all in at the same time. But they will fight because they are brought up like that.
“They want to get in and will get their chance.
“I’d like to keep Chris around the squad. But at some point, if he doesn’t get in and around it, I understand he needs to go out and get some games.
“Ideally, if we can keep him around it as much as we can, I think it will benefit him.”
United’s Professional Development Squad are in League 2 Under-21s action at Sheffield United tomorrow afternoon (1pm).