Young gun: Cook could do with a wise head to help him, says Lorimer

By Coral Barry

Steve Evans had admitted he was wrong to rest star Lewis Cook against Huddersfield in Leeds’ last Championship game.

Leeds capitulated against their local rivals without their influential midfielder, 19, and lost the clash 4-1 on March 19th.

Since then Cook has been away on international duty with the England under-19s, helping them to qualify for the summer’s European Championships, and Evans revealed he now believes the decision to start his star man on the bench was incorrect.

“It was the wrong decision to leave Lewis [Cook] out against Huddersfield,” said Evans speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post. “Absolutely – 100 per cent.”

However, Evans was adamant immediately after the Huddersfield humiliation that Cook had been ”on his knees” after the previous weekend’s win at Blackburn.

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Cook has played 38 matches for Leeds this season, 36 of which he has started, and Evans was convinced the 19-year-old needed a rest.

The Leeds boss even made a request to England’s manager Aidy Boothroyd at the beginning of the international break that Cook would not be overplayed during their fixtures, a warning that was ignored.

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Cook played a part in everyone of England’s three matches including two 90-minute displays, but Evans still thinks his prized asset will come back re-energised because of his decision to give him a break against Huddersfield.

Leeds travel to Rotherham on Saturday in the Championship and Evans expects Cook to be ready to play a starring role in the Whites’ bid to bounce back after their last defeat.

The former Rotherham manager said: “I think the break he had leading up to it [Huddersfield] and the ease down in his personal schedule and the few days even after that has probably done enough to freshen the kid up.

“With five weeks of the season left he will be ready.”

In other Leeds news, Evans has directly responded to England ignoring his Cook request.