Leeds United coach commends players’ ‘bravery’ through growing injury adversity

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Leeds United’s U23 side fell to defeat once more on Monday evening, the unintentional victims of the senior squad’s injury crisis.

As a result of the several absentees at first-team level, the U23s have been gutted, losing the majority of their more experienced players to the first-team bench.

Last night’s fixture with West Ham United U23s saw the young Whites line up with a squad boasting an average of 18.2 years.

They came up against a Hammers outfit with players who this season have Europa League and Premier League pedigree, including a 22-cap Ireland U21 international.

Despite the obvious disadvantages posed by the strength of Leeds’ opponents, the two sides went in level at the break, the Whites giving a good account of themselves in and out of possession.

Mark Jackson, manager Leeds United U23s. (Image: Getty Images)

However during the second half, Leeds ran out of steam and ultimately conceded three times to the Hammers’ youngsters.

U23s head coach Mark Jackson spoke to LUTV following the game, sharing his thoughts on the game and the ‘bravery’ his players have shown.

“I thought first half we were good, we dominated the ball, we looked to play out,” Jackson said.

“Kris [Klaesson] made a great save in our goal but then just before we come in for half-time, we created a great chance to go 1-0 up. We come in and wanted to keep that going. Unfortunately, at the minute with the players and young players we have in our team, we just haven’t got that next gear to go to in our team, at the minute.”

“West Ham, we know they’re a big, powerful team, they’re on the front foot and they’re aggressive, they just kind of out-powered us in that second half.

“I was pleased with how the lads were brave and tried to play our way, I asked them to make decisions and take ownership on the pitch and I thought they did that for most parts of the game, but ultimately we didn’t have that next gear to rise to in that second half to kick on and try and get the victory,” Jackson finished.

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