By Alex Stevens
Steve Evans has hinted Giuseppe Bellusci was omitted from the Leeds squad for the second consecutive weekend due to an incident on the training ground.
The centre-back, who has been a mainstay of the defence this season, was omitted from the matchday 18 for the 2-0 defeat against Charlton on Saturday even though the manager had said he would be in contention for a return.
Bellusci was also fit for selection last weekend but did not make the cut and was left behind as Leeds travelled to Hull, where they gained a creditable 2-2 draw.
Manager Evans strongly suggested when speaking pre-match on Saturday afternoon that Bellusci’s conduct in training was the reason for him being overlooked for the Elland Road clash.
“I pick the bench based on how they’ve trained, prepared and their attitude,” Evans told BBC Leeds. “There will always be little situations on training grounds that upset people but the head coach’s job is to focus on your opponents and make sure the team is focused and ready.
“I’m not a school teacher type, getting them in the office and telling them off. I tell the players to prove their point and if I’m being honest, he’s trained well again this week.”
It has been a chastening few weeks for Bellusci, who has started only one of the last six Leeds matches following costly blunders in consecutive Championship matches last month.
Liam Cooper and Sol Bamba have emerged as the favoured centre-back partnership in the final weeks of the campaign.
In other Leeds news, Evans has admitted he has changed his mind about one Whites outcast.