NOT so long ago Tyler Roberts was a man on the up.
Having had to wait a little under eight months for his debut due to injury, the teenage Welsh international suddenly found himself centre stage.
Two losses on the bounce are never a good thing, but everyone is excited to go and put it right in the FA Cup.Tyler Roberts
Three goals in four appearances, including a crucial winner at Hull City in early October, meant Leeds were able to make light of being without injured duo Patrick Bamford and Kemar Roofe.
The return of the latter, however, saw the £2.5m January arrival from West Bromwich Albion usurped in the pecking order of forwards. Three cameos from the bench in a little over two months mean he has time to make up for tomorrow when leading the Leeds attack.
“It is nice to get back into the team and get a run out,” said Roberts. “Hopefully I can show and prove why I want to get more minutes and put myself in contention for Derby (on January 11).
“There has been a couple of niggles that I have had that have kept me away from training and games.
“It has been frustrating on that side of things. But, when I have been training, I can’t complain. I am 19 and working with a world-class manager. There is nothing for me to complain about at all.”
Leeds head to Queens Park Rangers tomorrow looking to bounce back from defeats to Hull City and Nottingham Forest.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men remain top thanks in the main to stumbles from fellow promotion hopefuls Norwich City and West Brom.
But progress in the Cup would be the perfect fillip ahead of a run in the Championship that will see Leeds tackle three of the top six in the next month or so.
Roberts added: “Two losses on the bounce are never a good thing, but everyone is excited to go and put it right in the FA Cup.
“We are not taking it lightly, we want to have a Cup run.”
Head coach Bielsa yesterday took the unusual step of naming his XI for the Loftus Road trip with Roberts starting in the No 10 role.
“I do like playing there as it gives me more freedom to come into pockets and receive the ball,” added the forward. “My goal against Hull was like that.”
Meanwhile, Bielsa admits United are looking for a winger and goalkeeper in the January window.
Samuel Saiz’s departure on loan to La Liga side Getafe has led to Leeds targeting an outfield player after their head coach had previously said he was happy with his options.
Newcastle United’s Karl Darlow is on the club’s radar as a replacement for Jamal Blackman, who returned to parent club Chelsea a couple of months ago after suffering a broken leg.
“It is if the club can get players who are better than the ones we already have come and in the position where we suffered some injuries,” said the United chief when asked about this month’s likely activity.
“For example, Samu Saiz left, so Pablo (Hernandez) now plays as a playmaker and we need a winger. These are the two positions that were solved at the beginning of the competition and now we are trying to find another one.”