Leeds United face a very difficult clash on Saturday evening as they travel to Nottingham Forest, who currently sit just four points behind the Whites in fourth place – and Leeds fans are desperate to see Jamie Shackleton start.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are in the midst of a dismal run of form, winning just two of their last nine Championship matches. There are growing fears that Leeds are going to surrender a real chance to gain promotion for the second time in two seasons.
Bielsa was very animated in his latest press conference, answering just five questions in the space of an hour as he gave an impassioned speech about why he left out Jean-Kevin Augustin – following last weekend’s defeat to Wigan Athletic.
Supporters believe there needs to be some change in the side, with Kiko Casilla also being criticised between the sticks – and some fans crying out for Illan Meslier to start. Shackleton, meanwhile, is also vying for a start.
The 20-year-old has endured a difficult season with injury, managing just 10 appearances in all competitions. But he has now proven his fitness in the Under-23 side, and he will be hoping he can partner Mateusz Klich in the middle of the park.
Many Leeds fans have urged Bielsa to hand Shackleton his first Championship start since October – and just his fifth of the entire 2019-20 campaign.
Against Forest I hope to see meslier start in goal
Shackleton is old enough now to be starting, so much energy I feel we’re wasting him,put him in centre Dallas to right back Ayling on the bench.
I’d also give Bamford 30 mins and if he’s missing chances haul his ass off #lufc
— N (@N65590035N) February 4, 2020
Me, pre Bielsa presser: I wonder if he'll consider Roberts in place of Costa. He looked sharp on Saturday. And is there a strong case for Meslier after Hillsborough? Would love to see Shackleton break back into midfield contention, too…
Bielsa, in presser: SAME XI. #lufc
— EastStandUpper (@EastStandUpper) February 6, 2020
Last season all I tweeted was play Shackleton from January to end of season. My finger is getting itchy .
— Alan Mills (@alanjmills) February 6, 2020
Yeh without a doubt!
— Neil Pearson (@NeilPea56396945) February 6, 2020
In a dream world for Forest I’d see this
Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas
Harrison, Hernandez, Alioski
— M W (@mewebb1) February 6, 2020
Would like to see Dallas at full back at Forest and maybe Shackleton in midfield
— White Knight LUFC (@WhiteKnightLUFC) February 2, 2020