LEEDS UNITED head coach Steve Evans admits he was “100 per cent wrong” to rest Lewis Cook against Huddersfield Town - but says doing so has left the teenager fit enough to play this weekend.
Cook was rested for United’s most recent fixture a week last Saturday with Evans saying the midfielder had “played a horrendous amount of minutes for someone his age.”
Without Cook’s services, United lost the Elland Road clash 4-1 and the midfielder then left United for international duty with England Under-19s for whom he has played two full games over the last fortnight as well as making another appearance as a substitute.
But Evans has confirmed that the 19-year-old will be ready for this Saturday’s Championship clash at Rotherham United, with Evans hoping his initial omission against the Terriers can prove a blessing in disguise.
“It was the wrong decision to leave Lewis out against Huddersfield,” admitted Evans. “Absolutely - 100 per cent.
“But I think the break he had leading up to it and the ease down in his personal schedule and the few days even after that has probably done enough to freshen the kid up.
“With five weeks of the season left he will be ready.”
Midfielder Toumani Diagouraga also missed the Huddersfield clash with a tight hamstring but he too is now fit to face the Millers.
Liam Bridcutt, Liam Cooper and Mustapha Carayol - United’s other three players to have been away on international duty - will also return.
“Diagouraga is looking fresh and ready,” said Evans.
“We had a practice match here on Tuesday and he was outstanding.
“Some of the boys have been away on international duty and all have returned apart from Mustapha who is landing in London at around three o’clock today (Thursday) so he has got a slightly longer flight then everyone else. But he will be with us in the morning.
“We will go to Rotherham and we will make some changes from the last period against at Huddersfield.
“Those changes will have a number of factors and considerations in it, performance in that game at Huddersfield and performances and training since and the freshness and everything will come into it.
“We will try and put a team on the pitch as best we can that best befits the supporters that will turn up with Leeds United in their blood.
“We are delighted that we will have a full squad to chose from with the exception of Ross (Turnbull).”