‘Wasn’t Right’ – Phil Hay shares why Leeds ace didn’t start in 0-0 draw v Hull

Sam Byram didn’t start for Leeds United in the draw with Hull on Wednesday night as he isn’t fit enough to play three times in a week, reports Phil Hay.

Midfielder Jamie Shackleton started at left-back in Byram’s absence in the Championship clash as the Whites made it three clean sheets in a row on either side of the international break.

 

But some fans questioned why Farke changed things after an impressive win over Millwall at the weekend, and The Athletic journalist Hay shared Farke’s thinking after they had a discussion on the training ground.

“Farke said Byram wasn’t ready for 90 minutes,” he wrote. “Spoke after final training session and Byram indicated he wasn’t right to start.

“Farke confident Byram will soon get to the stage where he can play three times in a week. But needs to build up after a couple of years of injury problems.”

Sensible

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It’s been a long season already this year for Leeds and Farke, and injuries have been a big part of that especially in defence.

Right now the full-back options are slim with Djed Spence out for eight weeks, Cody Drameh allowed to leave, Liam Cooper only just returning from a long-term issue and Junior Firpo still recovering from injury.

So overplaying Byram when he clearly isn’t up to playing so regularly yet would have just been an accident waiting to happen, and when it’s avoidable it’s best to do so.

 

Shackleton has proven to be an excellent utility man for Leeds this season in midfield, as a winger or at full-back on either side and he isn’t effecting results, so it wasn’t worth the risk to throw Byram in if he wasn’t ready.

With Watford to come at the weekend the hope is that he will be ready to step in there and give us a more natural option in the role, which can hopefully lead to three points rather than one.

 

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