Mark Jackson wants Leeds United to be more "streetwise" after Under-23s fall to Everton defeat

Mark Jackson wants his Leeds United Under-23s players to be more "streetwise" in the wake of defeat at Everton.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 10:11 pm
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 10:12 pm
Leeds United Under-23s head coach Mark Jackson. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

The Whites development squad returned to Premier League 2 action on Monday night in Southport but were beaten 4-2 by the Toffees.

Leeds raced into a two-goal lead thanks to Amari Miller and Sam Greenwood though saw the hosts bag four unanswered goals.

Miller opened the scoring with a low from a Kristoffer Klaesson ball finish before Greenwood cushioned a volley home from a Kris Moore delivery.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Eli Campbell replied for the Toffees on the stroke of half-time while Lewis Dobbin levelled shortly after the interval to leave the match all square.

United entered the closing stages looking the more likely of the two teams to claim all three points but were hit by a stroke of bad luck four minutes from the end.

Everton let fly with a nothing effort from distance but the ball took a huge spinning deflection and fell perfectly to Charlie Whitaker who finished past the helpless Klaesson.

Substitute Rhys Hughes then added a final goal in added time to put an exclamation point on a comeback win for David Unsworth's team.

"It's a very, very downbeat dressing room in there and so it should be," Jackson told the YEP.

"We're extremely disappointed with the result. It's not the complete performance we wanted. We showed things in patches and showed some excellent play in the first half and got the goals from the type of play we wanted to implement.

"That proved if we stuck to the game plan we could've hurt them but in the second half we didn't do that. We made some strange decisions individually and collectively as a team.

"We let Everton back into it. The goal just before half-time lifted them. It gave them hope."

Asked about the crucial momentum switch before the break, Jackson said: "You give the opposition impetus. We got two goals up and we were in a fantastic position, so we have to learn how to control that better.

"It's being a little bit more streetwise in how we approach things.We were too open when we were attacking at times. We mentioned that at half-time.

"Our structure behind the ball needed to be really dominant so if the attack broke down we couldn't get countered - I didn't think we listened to that information or took it on board.

"I've just said to the players in there that the top teams are ruthless with and without the ball. It means defending, organising and recognising danger - we didn't do that."