By Dominic Toner
Toumani Diagouraga and Luke Murphy have set a great example to the younger players at Leeds, according to the club’s Under-23s coach.
The senior duo have been selected as over-age players in Jason Blunt’s development side to play Bolton Wanderers on Wednesday night after being frozen out of the first-team squad.
The midfielder duo’s futures were cast into doubt after being omitted from the club’s matchday programme squad list last week, alongside fellow senior man Ross Turnbull.
Diagouraga, 29, and Murphy, 26, are in the starting line up for the Under-23s after being forced to train with the development side.
Blunt has named the experienced pair in his side and revealed they are a great influence on the club’s youngsters.
“They see things, and their decision making is better than the youngsters at the moment,” Blunt to LUTV, as quoted by Inside Futbol’s website. “They have played 100s of league games between them.
“But what impresses the young boys about them is, yes they are not breaking into the first team, but their attitude has been good. So if these boys want to make a professional career [out of the game], they can see it’s not always a smooth ride.”
Garry Monk has omitted the pair from his recent squads, with captain Liam Bridcutt, Eunan O’Kane, Kalvin Phillips, Ronaldo Vieira and Matt Grimes all ahead of them in the pecking order.
Leeds have won five of their last six matches in all competitions, meaning Murphy and Diagoruga’s exits seem increasingly likely.
The pair have made just one appearance each since Monk’s arrival in the summer and are set to be leaving Elland Road.
Murphy has racked up 111 appearances for the White since his arrival in 2013 from Crewe and is surplus to requirements under Monk as the club prepare a promotion bid.
Diagouraga has made just 20 league and cup appearances for Leeds and his last match was the opening game of the season against QPR.
In other Leeds team news, Liam Cooper has revealed on Twitter how the team are preparing to extend their winning run.