Thursday, April 23, 2009

Leeds heads to playoffs

Leeds travel to Hartlepool United on Saturday afternoon with a keen eye towards the playoffs. As Simon Grayson looks toward the final two matches, before the playoffs begin, he intends to keep create a winning momentum into the important dates. However injuries have stricken the Whites of late and they will need to juggle the realities of structuring play intelligently and not wearing down players before the run towards the Championship.

Against relegation concerned Hartlepool, Leeds is without play-maker Fabian Delph, who is in the sin-bin and Robert Snodgrass who has been dealing with a curmudgeonly ankle injury. The injury to the young Scot is most concerning as he will need to be fully-fit in the opening match. While there as been commentary of him returning to training early next week, they need to structure his return for the first playoff match less risk his involvement. Equally while it is tempting to utilize the striking combination of Luciano Becchio and Jermaine Beckford, now is the time to make more use of youngsters such as Tom Elliott with Liam Dickinson.