Noel Whelan has suggested that Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa will axe Jamie Shackleton from the side against Charlton Athletic after Adam Forshaw’s return to fitness.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker and lifelong fan at Elland Road says that the Argentinian boss will need to call upon experience for the club’s trip to The Valley and that if Forshaw is fit, he will play.
Bielsa confirmed in his press conference that he expects to be able to call upon the former Middlesbrough man after recovering from a hip problem which has kept him on the sidelines for the last two games.
Whelan insists that Shackleton has done nothing to warrant being dropped from the side but that his teammate’s know-how could earn him the nod against the Addicks.
Whelan told Football Insider: “That’s a strange one. He’s done nothing wrong, Jamie Shackleton, absolutely nothing wrong, he’s been fantastic in both games that he’s stepped in, he’s not let the manager down or his teammates, he should be very proud of his performances.
“But I think when you’re playing away from home, when you’ve got to get back to winning ways, this makes it a very important game, you’ve got to look at experience as well. If Adam Forshaw is fit, then you play him.
“I’m sure Jamie Shackleton will understand the manager’s decision in that. Done nothing wrong but sometimes you need a little bit more experience in the midfield.”
Forshaw had played in every minute of Leeds’ Championship campaign before his injury layoff but missed both the win over Barnsley and draw against Derby County.
Shackleton has played four times in the league so far, Forshaw’s absence resulting in him making his first two Championship starts of the campaign.