Leeds United goalkeeper Marco Silvestri looks set to receive another chance away at MK Dons, despite his costly error against Ipswich Town in midweek.
Head coach Uwe Rosler gave a clear hint that he would stand by Silvestri again this weekend having backed the Italian in the aftermath of a weak display at Bristol City last month.
Silvestri has started all of United’s league fixtures this season and he retained his position following a 2-2 draw at Ashton Gate, a dramatic match in which the 24-year-old appeared to be at fault for both goals.
He was caught out badly on Tuesday when a mix-up with Liam Cooper and a misjudgment from the resulting corner allowed Tommy Smith to score and Ipswich to claim a 1-0 win at Elland Road.
Rosler refused to comment on Silvestri specifically ahead of tomorrow’s trip to MK Dons but appeared to imply that the keeper would remain in his starting line-up for the eighth Championship game of the term.
Ross Turnbull, whose only outing of the campaign came in the League Cup at Doncaster Rovers a month ago, is set to be named on the bench again.
Rosler took the unusual step of keeping his planned line-up from his players yesterday, admitting that he wanted “everybody on their toes” after the Ipswich defeat.
But United’s boss said he had to “consider backing players who maybe didn’t reach their normal level” and promised to show loyalty to some who had “worked very hard for me.”
“The team is not named, the players don’t know,” Rosler said. “Everybody is on their toes.
“Normally I indicate to the players on a Friday, in terms of doing shape, who might start or not. I never confirm it and I always leave the door open but the players normally know or assume who’s starting. Today I didn’t do that at all. I want everybody on their toes.
“I have to put the level of performances in the last two games under consideration and I also have to consider backing players who maybe had a game where they didn’t reach their normal level. I have to help players when they, in a game, aren’t reaching an optimal level.”
Asked if Silvestri still had his full support, Rosler said: “I think I answered that question already.”
Rosler, however, also indicated that further errors might force him to reconsider Silvestri’s position, saying: “It’s about picking the right players and taking things into consideration. I, as a coach have, to show players who’ve worked very hard for me since I came through the door that I also support them through certain difficult spells.
“That can’t go on forever, everybody knows that. But I have to be loyal.”
United’s players were visibly frustrated by their display on Tuesday night and Rosler admitted that Leeds had struggled to pick apart an Ipswich side who defended deeply and caused problems on the counter-attack.
Rosler, whose team went into the match on a six-game unbeaten run, said: “Everybody was disappointed about the performance. I know we can play better than that.
“We have to play instinctively. The more time we have, the more we think and the more we complicate things. When we play instinctively we’re a very good footballing side. When we have a lot of time, when a team’s sitting deep, then we start to hesitate. But that’s normal.
“To be very good against an established defence, you need certain players and the time to coach them. To coach against teams with 10 men behind the ball, to create lots of chances, is very difficult.”
MK Dons – promoted from League One last season and under the control of long-term manager Karl Robinson – have lost their last three matches but Rosler said: “When you let them play, they hurt any opposition. You saw that in the cup when they beat Manchester United last year.
“We have to be very compact, hard working and quick in transition, exploiting the space MK Dons will give us.
“When you go away from home, sometimes the pressure to win is on the team who play at home. At this moment in time it looks like that suits us.”
Leeds have sold an away allocation of 5,800 tickets for today’s match.