Goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown will be restored to Leeds United’s starting line-up this weekend after another vote of confidence from manager Neil Warnock.
Warnock confirmed that he would extend his season-long policy of fielding second-choice Ashdown in cup fixtures tomorrow, leaving Paddy Kenny to watch United’s FA Cup tie against Manchester City from the bench.
Ashdown has not made a league appearance since joining Leeds on a free transfer from Portsmouth last summer but he has played in all bar one of United’s knockout fixtures, missing only a League Cup tie against Shrewsbury a week before the start of the Championship term.
Warnock has relied on him in meetings with Everton, Southampton, Chelsea and Spurs and the 32-year-old will be included in a side which is likely to show a number of other changes.
Leeds face two major league fixtures against Blackpool and Blackburn next week and Warnock said: “There are little knocks and one or two concerns. We won’t risk anyone and there’ll be one or two changes.
“Jamie Ashdown will come back in because he’s done really well in the cups.
“I’m pleased that he can play in these games.”
Warnock also hinted that he might recall El-Hadji Diouf after a week in which video footage emerged of racist abuse aimed at the Senegalese forward during Leeds’ defeat at Millwall in November.
Warnock said: “I don’t think anything fazes El-Hadji Diouf, whatever’s thrown at him. He’s ice cool and he’ll probably be hoping that I pick him.”