Leeds United have a problem position but Daniel Farke spells out why youngster will not be filling it until he sorts out his attitude

Leeds United will once again be without centre-backs Pascal Struijk and Liam Cooper for Saturday's trip to Cardiff City, but Charlie Cresswell has been told that will not open up an opportunity for him unless or until he improves his attitude.

The home-grown centre-back has only made one Championship start under manager Daniel Farke, who will once more turn to Ethan Ampadu instead as Joe Rodon's defensive partner in south Wales.

"Pascal Struijk will still be out for this game, no chance for him to travel with us, and Liam Cooper is a major doubt, he wasn't able to train today," revealed.

On Cresswell, he was very clear: "The ball is in his court.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
WARNING: Leeds United manager Daniel FarkeWARNING: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke
WARNING: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke

"I've played a lot with (Joe) Rodon and Struijk in his position in the starting line-up and in recent weeks with Pascal not available Liam Cooper because he's our club captain and he's experienced, we need experienced players in leadership roles and he's left-footed.

"Liam has repaid my trust whenever I needed him so it ended up with Charlie being our number four centre-back.

"I was totally happy with this because to have an exciting young centre-back in this position and to have the chance to improve step by step and bring himself into the starting line-up, for me it's a perfect scenario.

"It's just you could sense Charlie was not overly happy with this situation. Sometimes he was travelling with us and I felt he wasn't really switched on and focussed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We spoke quite openly and honestly about it. I want my players to be honest.

"He said, 'Listen boss, I totally appreciate everything and all the trust but for me it's difficult because I'm not happy to just be centre-back number four, I want to be in the top two and I rate myself as a starter for Leeds United.

"It could be he's right and I'm wrong. There's no guarantee I'm always right but I'm in the chair and I decided to play Joe Rodon, for example, in this position ahead of him.

"He was quite open and said he wanted to play in the top two roles.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I said it makes no sense if you're not fully committed and fully convinced to be in the travelling squad. He's a professional, there's never a problem with him, but it's not like he's fully committed and fully aware.

"He won't be picked by me until he's ready, also mentally ready."

Despite the problems at centre-back, there was more positive injury news.

"Illan (Meslier) is thank God back (from suspension) and he will return back to the goal if nothing major happen in the next training session," said Farke.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Sam Byram was able to join us in team training today, like Ian Poveda. Ian was struggling with illness at the beginning of the week but both were available for training today and I think they will also be both available to travel with us to Cardiff. We'll have to see if it really makes sense (for them to play) for 90 minutes, but it's good to have them back.

"It's the same with Joffy Gelhardt, who was also out. He has been back in training since yesterday."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.