Barry Douglas is ready to be called into FA Cup duty at Queens Park Rangers, admitting Leeds United’s squad is “quite bare” owing to injuries and that he’s unsure if Marcelo Bielsa will make widescale changes as a result.
United’s 2018-19 FA Cup campaign will begin with Sunday’s third-round clash at Loftus Road which Leeds approach sitting top of the Championship but following back-to-back defeats after four games in 10 days.
Leeds, like many other Championship and Premier Division sides, have previously made widescale changes to their team for the FA Cup though that plan backfired under former head coach Thomas Christiansen last year when United were dumped out with a 2-1 loss at Newport County.
Chrsitiansen’s predecessor Garry Monk also made numerous changes to his FA Cup side during the previous season with Leeds progressing past the third round through a 2-1 success at Cambridge United but then crashing out in the next round at non-league Sutton United.
United are now looking at their best-ever opportunity in recent times to finally seal promotion back to the Premier League and are back in Championship action just five days after Sunday’s visit to QPR with the hosting of sixth-placed Derby County.
But Whites’ left-back Douglas has admitted he is unsure whether head coach Bielsa will be able to make radical changes for the Hoops tie even if he desired – with five players still currently out injured.
Skipper Liam Cooper, Stuart Dallas, Gaetano Berardi, Patrick Bamford and Izzy Brown are all yet to return to the first team while Leeds have also lost the services of former loanee goalkeeper Jamal Blackman who is out for the season with a broken leg.
Asked if he expected changes for Sunday’s FA Cup tie, Douglas said: “I don’t know.
“I think the squad is quite bare as it is right now with a lot of injuries so that’s up to the manager.
“But we will go back to training and everyone will be working hard to look forward to the next game.”