Thomas Christiansen called on Leeds United to keep their early momentum in place by treating tonight’s Carabao Cup tie with Port Vale “as if it was a league game” as he weighed up changes for the first-round clash.
Christiansen said he intended to “give time to other players” after Sunday’s 3-2 win over Bolton Wanderers but demanded an identical level of performance in the first of three back-to-back games at home.
United’s tie against Port Vale will be followed by a Championship meeting with Preston North End at Elland Road on Saturday. Fulham – one of last season’s play-off semi-finalists – visit Leeds four days later for a midweek fixture.
Christiansen’s squad made an impressive start to both his tenure as head coach and their Championship campaign by taking three points from Bolton and the United boss said: “It’s important always after a win to take the next game very seriously and not have any surprises.
“For that the team has to be very focused and compete as if it was a league game.
“I have an idea about who’s going to play. I take all the competitions seriously but after the league game I also have to give time to other players.
“There are a lot of things you have to manage but I want to compete well in all the competitions.”
Vale’s visit to Elland Road is their first since a 3-0 defeat in December 2007, a time when both clubs were in League One.
Christiansen expects Vale manager Michael Brown to rest players himself tonight, saying: “There will be some changes because they also have to focus on their league but they will try to get a good result on our ground. For this we need to be prepared.”
Christiansen, meanwhile, said Leeds were still to establish the full extent of the injuries suffered by defenders Matthew Pennington and Gaetano Berardi at Bolton.
Pennington limped out of the game with an ankle problem and Berardi left the pitch on a stretcher after dislocating a shoulder.
“We still have to wait for more tests on them,” Christiansen said.