It is fair to say that after two consecutive losses, on the back of three consecutive wins and those following a hideous tanking of a defeat, that changes need to be made for Leeds United’s upcoming game against Queens Park Rangers tomorrow – something that Steve Evans says will happen in an interview with BBC Radio Leeds’ West Yorkshire Sport programme.
Leeds’ last loss, a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Neil Warnock’s Rotherham, was particularly hard to stomach after Leeds had pulled it back to 1-1 against the 10-man Millers who had striker Matt Derbyshire sent off for a flailing elbow on Gaetano Berardi.
The loss came about due to a calamitous piece of defending from Giuseppe Bellusci, where he misjudged an overhead, scissor-kick clearance, presented Lee Frecklington a one-on-one with Marco Silvestri, the Leeds keeper bringing him down and earning a red card. All substitutions had been made and Bellusci himself donned the keeper’s but failed to stop Grant Ward’s spot kick.
Due to Silvestri’s sending off, Leeds are forced into one change with young keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell set to make his first team debut under Elland Road’s Tuesday night lights. However, in an interview with BBC Radio Leeds’ Adam Pope (below), Evans says that this is not the only change being considered.
Obviously the question of Giuseppe Bellusci came up with Popey probing with a question about whether chamges were needed in defence, especially after Bellusci’s mistake. Evans was forthright in his answer, defending his Italian centre-back and praising his efforts.
In response to the direct question about Bellusci, Evans said: “Yeah, I think the first thing you do as a head coach, as a manager, Adam, is you don’t, you don’t hang a player out to dry for making a mistake. And we all know the ramifications of the big mistake that Beppe made but for 88 minutes of the game the boy was outstanding. So you have to take a view across it all.”
Evans also then went on to say that it wasn’t only at the back that changes might be seen but also elsewhere in the Leeds United line-up for tomorrow’s visit of QPR. On this point, Evans let it be known that: “we are considering options in the backline and two or three other positions as well to be fair.”
Evans went on to elaborate on this, indicating that it is possible that he might deploy a now-fully fit Stuart Dallas and Mustapha Carayol in a dual-wing attack against QPR, with Dallas recovered from a slight hamstring tweak and Carayol rested after a late flight back from international duty. Speaking on this, Evans commented that there was: “an opportunity for both of those lads to be involved tomorrow.”
Full clip from BBC Radio Leeds’ ‘West Yorkshire Sport’