Exclusive: Whelan reveals pre-match worries over Leeds players in 'banana skin' v Salford
Noel Whelan has revealed his “dread” over Leeds United picking up injury problems in their League Cup clash against Salford City.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker and Whites supporter says that he wants to see the fringe figures at Elland Road send a message to those currently in Marcelo Bielsa’s first-choice starting XI, with a number of changes on the cards.
Bielsa has confirmed to the media that the likes of Gaetano Berardi will be handed their first starts of the season, having played two Championship games to date.
However, Whelan revealed that he was both excited and worried about their trip to take on the League Two side, with the fear of injuries hitting what is already a squad lacking in numbers.
Whelan told Football Insider: “I’m expecting a lot of changes, it’s going to be interesting to see these players who haven’t played much of the Championship yet and see their appetite and their professionalism because it is a potential banana skin.
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“I want to see real commitment and professionalism. We’re only two games in, no injuries or suspensions and hopefully that will be the case against Salford. You’re always dreading injuries because as much as you’ve had a pre-season, these games in the evening, you want to come through these games committed but free of injury and with a result.
“You don’t want to be going there trying to get through the 90 minutes. I want to see full-blooded tackles, people fighting for their place and to worry the person in your place at the minute.”
Leeds will visit Salford off the back of a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest, while the Ammies will be hoping to cause an upset after losing 2-0 to Crawley Town in their League Two fixture.
It will be Salford’s first appearance in the League Cup, having sealed promotion via the National League play-offs last season.
In other Leeds United news, Whelan has made a £35million claim to Football Insider as crunch talks scheduled.