Confirmed: Frustrated Heckingbottom holds crunch talks with fringe Leeds figure over future
Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom has revealed he has held discussions with young goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell over his future after admitting his frustrations over his development.
The 21-year-old shot stopper has been promoted to serve as Felix Wiedwald’s understudy in the absence of the injured Andy Lonergan in recent matches, having been the number three choice for Thomas Christiansen before his exit.
He also spent a month with National League side York City earlier in the campaign, making four appearances before returning to Elland Road, where he has just one senior appearance after breaking through the youth ranks.
Now Heckingbottom has revealed that he is not satisfied with the progression of the youngster since taking over as manager, and that he sat down to discuss what he needs to do to ensure that his future with the club is a success.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s game against Wolves, he was quoted by Leeds Live as saying: “I felt I needed to have a chat with him and really make it clear what he needs to do to improve.
“I felt that he’d become a little bit static. I told him that it’s up to him.
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“I want to see that response from him and I want to see him living up to his potential. We want him do to well.”
Peacock-Farrell made his one and only appearance for the first team back in April 2016, and has seven unused substitute appearances under his belt this season.
Football Insider verdict
The young shot stopper has always been tipped to be one of the next breakthrough stars at Elland Road but Heckingbottom’s comments suggest as though his development has faltered somewhat, and that is something which will need to change sooner rather than later if he is to reach his potential. Could the arrival of Kamil Miazek have impacted on him? Perhaps, but the added competition should drive him on to succeed, not put him into his shell. He will now know what is expected of him after the conversation with the manager and with the form of Wiedwald right now, a call up for more first team action could well be on the cards if he impresses enough behind the scenes.
In other Leeds United news, Eunan O’Kane has defended his team mates in a brutal assessment of defeat to Middlesbrough.