Danny Mills has sympathy for the role of Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla after he made his first Premier League appearance of the season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites and England full-back claimed being a number two goalkeeper is “very difficult” and that is why we did not see him at his best last weekend against Crawley Town last weekend.
The one-time Spain international had a day to forget in east Sussex where he was arguably at fault for two of the League Two side’s three goals.
It was therefore a surprise to see him named in the starting line-up for the visit of Brighton but first-choice stopper Illan Meslier was not even available to make the bench.
Asked by Football Insider whether Casilla was deserving of criticism or should be respected more, Mills said: “You have to look at it from points of view. Could he have done better with the goals against Crawley? Probably is the answer, certainly some of them.
“Being a number two goalkeeper is very, very difficult at times. Obviously, he’s managed to do that at Real Madrid where they were winning Champions Leagues and winning league titles while playing with some of the best players on the planet.
“To do that where he is at the moment is probably quite difficult for him. To be 100 per cent ready at every moment, when you know your chances are going to be very, very few and far between. It’s never easy.”
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa told the press in his pre-Brighton press conference that he fully trusted Casilla despite his performance against Crawley.
He added: “I think that the treatment that Kiko has suffered ignores the fact that he is a player who played 40 games for Real Madrid.”