Leeds United youngsters will have to earn their chance, insists boss Paul Heckingbottom

Paul Heckingbottom wants those on the fringes of the Leeds squad to earn their opportunity.
Paul Heckingbottom wants those on the fringes of the Leeds squad to earn their opportunity.
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Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom has revealed he will only hand first team opportunities to those who deserve it.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's visit of table toppers Wolves, Heckingbottom revealed he was open to handing those who have not had their chance at Elland Road a lifeline but, he added, only if they had earned that right.

The 40-year-old, though, did reveal that he wouldn't be fazed either way if they were coming through the academy at Thorp Arch or on the fringes of the current first team squad.

As the old mantra goes, if you're good enough, you're old enough and it appears Heckingbottom is a firm believer in that saying.

“We've got lots of players who probably think that they want a chance and deserve a chance,” revealed the former Barnsley man.

“I wouldn't want to give the opportunity away because it sends the wrong message, people have to earn it.

“If that's a young player coming through and bursting past lots in the first team squad then brilliant he can play.

“If that's someone who has only had limited minutes this season but performs well in training and they're chomping at the bit or gets a sub appearance and earns their position then brilliant, they'll get in the team.

“But I think you can undo lots of good work and send the wrong message just by putting people in for the sake of it."

Paul Heckingbottom and Victor Orta.

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