Evans reveals Leeds outcast has convinced him he deserves a starting place
By Coral Barry
Steve Evans has revealed that Jordan Botaka has impressed him so much he is ready to hand the winger a starting place in the Leeds team.
Botaka has endured a difficult start to his Leeds career since signing last summer from Dutch side Excelsior with just 11 Championships appearances in total and not a single league start to his name since Evans was appointed manager in October.
During that time, the 22-year-old has struggled to make it into the Leeds matchday squad, let alone the starting line-up.
However, Botaka’s introduction from the bench at half-time sparked a 2-2 comeback against Hull, with the youngster setting up the equaliser for Stuart Dallas following a driving run.
Evans admitted he has changed his mind about the youngster.
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“I think we know where Jordan is heading and he is heading into the starting line-up,” said Evans speaking after the game to BBC Radio Leeds. “His performance today when he came on gave us a real spark.
“I think Jordan accepts what I said to him privately and publicly that it’s easier when you’re a player with a bit of pace and a bit of skill to come on when players are tired.
“But you don’t come to Hull City against the likes of [Harry] Maguire and [Andrew] Robertson and dangle your feet and do your step overs.
“But he’s really had a spark about him, Jordan in the last few weeks and that’s why he has moved onto the bench and I praised him in front of the whole squad.
“The kid can go home deserving of that praise from me.”
Botaka replaced the ineffective Lee Eriwn at the start of the second half and provided the assist to Stuart Dallas’ goal in the 88th minute that ensured Leeds came away from the KC Stadium with a point.
The attacker had not been involved in the previous ten league matches before getting a 15-minute run out against Wolves on Tuesday night.