Kevin Phillips has backed Marcelo Bielsa’s decision to hand Kiko Casilla the Leeds United captaincy in their Carabao Cup game against Hull City despite being banned for racism earlier in the year.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former England striker said fuming Leeds fans should be more worried by the fact the Whites failed to beat the League One side.

Casilla, 33, was found guilty of racially abusing Charlton forward Jonathon Leko in February and was banned for eight games and given a £60,000 fine.

Many Leeds fans expressed their discomfort with Casilla captaining the side but Bielsa justified his decision by claiming “his team-mates think he deserved to be the captain”.

In May, Leko, now of Birmingham City, said Casilla had not apologised for the incident.

Phillips told Football Insider“How many players have made mistakes?

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“You get punished, he got punished because he got his ban and got his fine and then you move on from it.

“Everyone deserves a second chance, depending on what you’ve done, he’s held his hands up and he’s taken his punishment.

“I’m reading as well that a lot of the players back the manager, so he must be a big voice in the dressing room, of course, his stature in the game is very high so I’m all for it.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa

“I don’t mind goalkeepers being the captain because they can see the whole pitch and if you’ve got respect for that player, which it seems a majority of the players have, then it’s probably a sensible choice.

“I’m reading a lot of supporters aren’t happy with it but ultimately it is what it is and you’ve got to get behind him.

“I think the big disappointment is them not getting through the game and winning the football match because that’s two losses now although they performed very well up at Anfield.”

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