Jamie Shackleton primed for Leeds United's festive adventures

FOR the latest promising talent off the Leeds United production line, this is the most wonderful time of the year to continue a winning run.

Leeds United's Jamie Shackleton seen playing against Bolton Wanderers in the EFL Cup (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
Leeds United's Jamie Shackleton seen playing against Bolton Wanderers in the EFL Cup (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).

Jamie Shackleton, a Leeds-born 19-year-old, made his first league start in last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers.

He stepped in admirably as head coach Marcelo Bielsa again turned to youth in an attempt to cope with an injury crisis that is showing no signs of easing.

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A steady and solid display on the right flank meant Leeds were able to clinch a fourth straight win by making light of Stuart Dallas joining Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi on their long list of absentees.

It was enough to lift United five points clear of a chasing pack that is headed by Sheffield United and set the West Riding club up for the always important Christmas and New Year period.

“We have been unfortunate with injuries,” said Shackleton, “and particularly at the back. There has been a fair few.

“But you have just got to be ready when you are called upon and be able to do a job when you are asked.

“I think that is important. I felt like I did my a job (against Queens Park Rangers).”

A trip across the Pennines to struggling Bolton Wanderers is next up for Leeds this coming weekend.

Phil Parkinson’s men have won once in 17 outings and sit second bottom of the table.

With Blades hosting West Bromwich Albion the previous evening, Saturday’s trip across the Pennines could offer the chance for Leeds to extend further their advantage over the chasing pack.

Bielsa’s men are also on the road the following week, at Aston Villa, before returning to Elland Road for back-to-back home games in front of their own fans against Blackburn Rovers and Hull City.

Then comes the New Year’s Day trip to promotion rivals Nottingham Forest.

“The games come thick and fast now,” added Shackleton.

“There is something like a game every three or four days for the next few weeks so we need to keep on top of things and, hopefully, keep this run of form going.

“Thanks to all those games it is a good time to be on a good run of form.”