Midfield selection hint dropped in Leeds programme notes for Reading clash
By Alex Stevens
Liam Bridcutt has hinted that he is not fit to start in midfield for Leeds in their Championship clash against Reading on Tuesday night.
The Elland Road skipper has revealed he wants to work his way back to match fitness with some run-outs for the club’s Under-23s.
But manager Garry Monk revealed at his press briefing on Monday that he would give serious thought to fast-tracking Bridcutt into the side after a three-month injury absence.
The Elland Road boss looked likely to put Bridcutt through an Under-23 outing before immersing him in the club’s Championship season again but a sudden shortage in midfield could see him partner 18-year-old Ronaldo Vieira.
Monk is unable to call upon midfield regulars Eunan O’Kane, Kalvin Phillips and Pablo Hernandez against Jaap Stam’s third-placed side due to either injury or unavailability.
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Bridcutt has only just resumed full training and Monk chose not to risk the 27-year-old during Leeds’ 2-0 defeat to Brighton at the AMEX Stadium last Friday.
He suggested in his captain’s notes in the matchday programme for Tuesday night’s clash that he is not yet to read to be plunged back into the starting XI after being sidelined since September.
After thanking the medical staff for his recovery, Monk wrote: “Of course I understand it will still take a few weeks to return to playing and I hope to get some game time for the Under-23s before fighting to get back into the first team squad.”
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 13, 2016
Bridcutt has made only four appearances for Leeds since joining the club on a permanent transfer in the summer window.
The Chelsea academy product spent last season on loan at the Yorkshire giants in two separate spells, and a deal was agreed for him then to move to Yorkshire from Sunderland.