Leeds United's recovering first team stars praised for application in Under-23s rout at West Brom

The Whites put on a five-star performance in the Midlands on Monday afternoon.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 9:14 pm
Leeds United Under-23s boss Mark Jackson. Pic: LUFC

Under-23s boss Mark Jackson praised Leeds United's recovering stars for their attitude and application in a 5-0 rout of West Bromwich Albion.

United head coach Marcelo Bielsa made a host of first team squad members available for the club's development outing in Birmingham.

Gaetano Berardi, Jamie Shackleton and Ian Poveda all completed a full match while Robin Koch came through an hour unscathed.

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Leeds academy starlet Joe Gelhardt bagged the match ball with an impressive hat-trick - which included two penalties - alongside a goal from Dutch winger Crysencio Summerville.

Sam Greenwood, though, stole the headlines with a stunning dipping free-kick late on which crashed into the net off the post from 25-yards after the hosts had been reduced to 10 men.

The win over the Baggies puts Leeds within three points of the Premier League 2 Division 2 crown, which could be won at Aston Villa provided second-placed Stoke City don't drop points next time out.

"Everybody plays a part in the team," Jackson reflected post-match.

"Once again it's great to see Berra (Gaetano Berardi) get 90 minutes under his belt on his return from injury.

"Same with Robin (Koch) playing 60 minutes again on his return from injury. Same as Leif (Davis), Ian (Poveda) and all those other players like (Jamie) Shackleton.

"I've said before that these players when they drop down they're really positive within the build-up to games. They show an excellent attitude, application and quality in the matches.

"It's a pleasure to have them play down and part of the team. It's a collective effort and it puts us within one win of the league."

Asked about the array of goals on display from his side, Jackson added: "Any goal is a good goal.

"To score goals like those, particularly Sam's free-kick, is really good. The combination play for the (second) penalty as well.

"We focused a lot on how we were going to attack West Brom in the lead up to the game and how we were going to utilise our wide players.

"I thought we did that and we coped with the pitch well too. We showed a fantastic attitude."