Leeds United v Derby County: Evans won’t be tempted into wholesale changes

Steve Evans.
Steve Evans.
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Steve Evans insisted he would not be tempted into making wholesale changes tomorrow night as he took another swipe at the scheduling of Derby County’s trip to Elland Road.

Evans said he was likely to stick with the bulk of the side who drew 1-1 at Nottingham Forest yesterday despite bemoaning the additional recovery time given to Derby’s players.

County moved to the top of the Championship with a 2-0 victory over Fulham on Saturday, 24 hours before Leeds United’s televised kick-off at Forest.

Evans claimed that Derby should have been made to play Fulham at the same time as Leeds’ 4.30pm start at The City Ground and reiterated his suggestion that the Football League was complicit in the disruption of United’s fixture list.

“Derby are one of the best two teams in the league with Middlesbrough,” Evans said. “We’re going to have to turn round and be ready to face them and that’s going to be tough.

“They get the benefit and why have they been allowed to play (on Boxing Day)? I know we were on television but could the football people not have made it that they kicked off at 4.30pm on Sunday as well? I suppose the football people are looking at the Leeds United badge. It’s not really a consideration if you want to keep the club here (in the Championship).

“There aren’t going to be eight or nine changes because there can’t be. It’ll be a lot of the players who played at Forest. But we’ll be ready, don’t worry about that.”

Midfielder Alex Mowatt missed the game at Forest with a minor groin injury and Evans expects him to be absent for another week. Right-back Gaetano Berardi is still in the early stages of recovering from ankle ligament damage.

“Alex has been training, feeling a bit sore and then feeling okay the next day,” Evans said. “If we allow that to continue then he knows and I know what’ll happen – he’ll pull his groin and be out for eight weeks. If we give him 10 days then it should be fine.”