Leeds United v Brighton: Taylor’s back at crucial time for us, says Monk

Charlie Taylor.
Charlie Taylor.
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HEAD coach Garry Monk has hailed the return of Charlie Taylor at a “crucial part of the season” as the left back prepares for battle in this evening’s clash with Brighton.

Taylor injured his Achilles in the Championship clash at home to Brentford on December 17 and missed United’s next 15 games before starting in the 1-1 draw at Fulham a week last Tuesday.

The 23-year-old moved back into the side at the expense of right-back Luke Ayling – as Gaetano Berardi shifted to left-back – as Ayling missed the clash at Craven Cottage due to his partner Poppy giving birth to the couple’s baby daughter Maisie.

New dad Ayling was back in the side for last Saturday’s goalless draw with QPR – for which Taylor was an unused substitute – but the roles are set to again be reversed due to Ayling’s suspension.

The 25-year-old picked up a 10th yellow card of the season against QPR in the last game before the threshold was raised and is now facing a two-match ban.

With fellow full-backs Lewie Coyle and Tyler Denton also injured, Taylor looks destined to start this evening’s home clash against second-placed Brighton and also the trip to fifth-placed Reading on April 1.

The defender remains out of contract at the end of the season but Monk says there have been no complications with the defender’s return from injury as Taylor gets set to play an integral part in United’s Championship run in.

“There are no problems,” said Monk. “Managing Charlie in the right way is important. He’s been out for quite a while with that injury so it’s managing him in the right way.

“But he has come back at a crucial part of the season and an important part of the season. He’s ready, he’s training well, as are all the others and he’ll be in the squad and up for selection this weekend.”

Leeds will also be without midfielder Kalvin Phillips who completes a two-match ban for picking up his third red card of the season – and second in the Championship – in the 1-1 draw at Fulham.