By Alex Stevens
Eunan O’Kane is in line for his Leeds debut as the team prepare for Tuesday’s showdown against Blackburn.
Manager Garry Monk has claimed that the deadline-day signing from Bournemouth was not ready to feature on Saturday, when he was omitted from the squad as Leeds slumped to a 1-0 defeat.
The Yorkshire giants are in the relegation zone after losing four of their opening six Championship matches and the clash against bottom club Blackburn at Elland Road already appears a must-win match for the under-fire Monk.
New skipper Liam Bridcutt was joined by rookie Kalvin Phillips in central midfield against Huddersfield, and the manager admitted that O’Kane will be in his thinking for Tuesday’s clash.
Monk said that O’Kane’s lack of familiarity with his new teammates was the reason why he was omitted from the matchday squad at the weekend.
“Eunan has only joined us for one day, he’s been on international duty,” Monk told TV Yorkshire. “To be fair to him we have to give him time to adapt to us, and for the players to adapt to him. But he’s going to be involved very, very soon.”
O’Kane, who was a late addition to Leeds’ squad in the summer transfer window, was named in the Republic of Ireland squad for their recent World Cup qualifying match, meaning he has only had one training session under Monk’s guidance before the Huddersfield match.
The new signing is competing for a place in central midfield with Bridcutt, Phillips, Ronaldo Vieira, Luke Murphy, Toumani Diagouraga, Pablo Hernandez and Alex Mowatt.
In other Leeds news, a reliable journalist has explained how close Monk is to the sack.