Midfield enforcer must start for Leeds against Reading to get promotion bid back on track
COMMENT By Emma Sanders
Liam Bridcutt must be rushed back from injury to start Tuesday evening’s crucial Championship clash against Reading at Elland Road.
The Leeds skipper and midfield enforcer has returned to training following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a fractured bone in his foot and it might be considered a gamble if Garry Monk started him.
However, it’s a risk worth taking given the importance of the game and Monk’s lack of midfield options.
Kalvin Phillips will serve a one-match suspension after receiving a red card during the 2-0 defeat against Brighton on Friday evening.
Eunan O’Kane is battling to gain fitness with an ongoing groin injury so Monk is short on midfield options to partner Ronaldo Vieira.
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Matt Grimes is the only option in the first-team squad to partner impressive academy graduate Vieira, given that Toumani Diagouraga and Luke Murphy have been frozen out of the senior set-up by Monk.
Leeds’ defeat to Brighton was costly and they could have dropped out of the play-off positions if results had gone other ways over the weekend.
The Whites currently sit in sixth position, five points off Reading in third and it’s crucial Monk’s side bounce back from Friday’s disappointing loss.
Bridcutt’s return would bring experience, composure and leadership back into the side and Leeds will need all of those in abundance to overcome a tough test at Elland Road.
The captain has missed their last 16 fixtures so it would be a boost to see him in the team, though it’s unlikely he would be able to play the full 90 minutes.
In other Leeds news, Rob Green reveals the club’s ambitions ahead of the January transfer window.