By Alex Stevens
Lewis Cook has been omitted from the Leeds team because he needs a breather, according to manager Steve Evans.
The 19-year-old midfielder, who is widely regarded as the club’s prize asset, had started 32 of the club’s 36 Championship matches up until Saturday’s Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield.
But Evans has decided to demote the teenager to the bench as he makes two changes from the side that beat Blackburn last Saturday to secure a third consecutive win.
Cook and fellow midfielder Toumani Diagouraga have been replaced in the starting X1 by Luke Murphy and Stuart Dallas.
Speaking to the Leeds website, Evans explained his thinking as he said: “Obviously Toumani was feeling really tight in his hamstring after the [Blackburn] game, it’s nothing other than a fatigue issue. He’s trained reasonably brightly in the week but we felt to err on the side of caution and we’ve got Luke Murphy there, who was brilliant at Cardiff and reasonably fresh.
“Cooky the same. He has put so much effort into the games, big games away Cardiff travelling and Blackburn travelling, and the kid just looked half a yard down.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) March 19, 2016
“Listen, I’m his biggest fan, he’ll play a part today. It wouldn’t surprise me if the wee man came on and is the difference but my eyes tell me something is not right.”
In other Leeds news, Evans has revealed his plans for the finals days of the emergency loan window.