Leeds United welcomed Hull City to Elland Road last night in the Carabao Cup for the first time since both sides exited the Championship at different ends last season.
The last time Leeds played the Tigers was at the back end of February when Marcelo Bielsa’s men were back on a role after a jittery start to the New Year, while Grant McCann’s side were on their way to freefalling down the table after losing Bowen and Grosicki.
Leeds came out of that clash with an emphatic 4-0 win and some great goals to go with it, ultimately helping the side clinch the league title in July while the Tigers were relegated as the Championship’s bottom club.
This tie presented Bielsa with a chance to change his lineup considerably from the defeat at Liverpool, allowing for a number of fringe and youth players to get a rare start.
One player who was handed only his second start for the club was former Manchester City youngster Ian Poveda, who came into the side on the right-wing to replace Helder Costa for the evening.
It wasn’t to be for Leeds as they failed to gain any control in key areas of the pitch, largely down to the lack of experience through the middle of defence and midfield, with Hull deserving the win on penalties.
However, Poveda was lively throughout and looked like one of the only players eager to make things happen for the hosts, and fans took notice…
It was pretty grating to watch at times last night given how disjointed we were from front to back, and I think it’s largely down to relying on a number of players who would typically come into the first-team with an arm round their shoulder, like Cresswell, Davis, and Casey.
Putting the three of those players in the most important area of the pitch for Leeds was always going to spell trouble, given none of them have any real first-team experience, as even Struijk helped steady the ship in the second half.
Meanwhile, you can’t really fault Poveda’s efforts on the right flank during the game, there wasn’t much in the way of support for him on that side.
His driving runs looked to cause a lot of problems for the visitors in the second half but his end-product might need tightening up so he stops running into cul-de-sacs with the ball and releases it earlier.