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Manager offers rationale for concerning decision on Leeds United man

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Leeds United centre-back Charlie Cresswell was left out of the Millwall squad by Gary Rowett as the side drew away at Rotherham last night.

With the investment in youth and the first team in the summer bolstering the squad, opportunities for some players were better if they went out on loan.

Centre-back Charlie Cresswell needed regular minutes after years of youth football, and his loan to Millwall was aimed to bring him just that.

Cresswell couldn’t have dreamed for a better start to life at the New Den as he scored two goals on his debut against Stoke City, but reality has soon hit home for the young defender, with a mistake costing a goal away at Sheffield United in his following league game.

It’s been up and down for him since, adding to his goals tally against Cardiff City, but also putting in some underwhelming displays that have seen him in and out of Gary Rowett’s squad.

He was left out of the squad that travelled to the New York Stadium last night to face Rotherham United, as the two sides shared the spoils with a 1-1 draw.

Rowett commented on Cresswell’s omission from the matchday squad, revealing it wasn’t down to injury, per Southwark News:

“It was just a selection decision.

“We played with a back four. I felt I needed to go with a four that had played a lot together so that’s what I decided to do.

“Our captain was left out of the squad last week, Mason Bennett was left out of the squad last week, Scotty Malone was left out of the squad this week, and young Cressy tonight.

“It was just a decision I made, I didn’t feel I needed a centre back on the bench. I think sometimes people will feel if you’re not in the 18 then something has gone wrong, but you have to remember that the bench need to be able to impact the game so you have to pick the bench accordingly.

“It might be that, in a game or two’s time, he comes back into the starting lineup. It’s as simple as that.”

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The harsh reality of Cresswell going into the Championship for the first time is that it is not going to be smooth sailing.

You don’t join Millwall for an easy ride and he’s still getting some of the best education possible as a young defender in that league.

Rowett will be hoping that his side can push towards the top end of the Championship table in the coming months, and he’s not going to get there by prioritising youth development over results.

As much as we want to see Cresswell playing every week, that’s just not how it works.

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Jack Butland.

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Leeds United season ticket holder since 2013/14, currently situated in the middle of the FA5 noise. From Pablo Hernandez to 5-1 drubbings, I've seen it all at Elland Road.