By Alex Stevens

Luke Murphy has been dropped from the Leeds team because he looked “half a yard short” in training, according to Steve Evans.

The manager says the 26-year-old midfielder has been “outstanding” for a side that have won three consecutive matches in their climb to 11th in the Championship table.

But Evans has decided to give Murphy a breather for Saturday’s clash and recall on-loan Sunderland star Liam Bridcutt to partner Toumani Diagouraga in central midfield in one of two changes to the side that beat Wolves 2-1 in midweek.

The other change is Stuart Dallas has replaced Lewie Coyle on the right flank.

Explaining his team selection to Leeds TV before kick-off, Evans said: “Dropping out is Luke Murphy, who has been absolutely outstanding for us.

“We sat with the staff, looked at Luke Murphy and he looked half a yard down yesterday. And Liam Bridcutt has trained particularly well all week, as has Toumani.”

Murphy has started Leeds’ last five matches in which they have accumulated 10 points out of a possible 15.

The Yorkshire giants have beaten Wolves, Reading and Birmingham in their last three matches to lift them to 57 points and provide hope they can secure a top-ten finish.

In other Leeds news, Evans has explained how Lewis Cook can rise to be on a par with one of the Premier League’s biggest stars.