By Harry Sykes
Leeds manager Thomas Christiansen is taking the Carabao Cup seriously and sees it as a way of maintaining momentum in the league, but has hinted that he will make wholesale changes to the team that beat Bolton 3-2.
The match against Port Vale is the first of three back-to-back home games for Christiansen’s team and it’s the perfect opportunity to ensure Leeds get off to a fast start – essential in the ultra-tough Championship.
However, Christiansen is also aware that he needs to keep his players fresh with Preston North End traveling to Elland Road on Saturday in the Championship, followed by another league game against promotion rivals Fulham on Tuesday.
Fulham were the team that pipped Leeds to the final play-off place in last year’s Championship and two home wins would be a real statement of intent from Christiansen’s men.
Talking in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Christiansen said, “It’s important always after a win to take the next game very seriously and not have any surprises.
“For that the team has to be very focused and compete as if it was a league game. I have an idea about who’s going to play.
I take all the competitions seriously but after the league game I also have to give time to other players.”
Leeds are already feeling the pinch after injuries to two key players in Sunday’s win against Bolton.
Gaetano Berardi and Matthew Pennington both limped off in the opening Championship game and Christiansen said that he’s still unsure how long they will be out.
“We still have to wait for more tests on them,” he said.
One piece of good news is that new defender signing Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is available to play after signing on a season-long loan deal from Manchester United.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson definitely eligible to make his #lufc debut v Port Vale in Carabao Cup tie. No complications with it being cup tie
— Lee Sobot (@LeeSobotYEP) August 8, 2017