Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips made an appearance for the Under-23s last night in a bid to maintain his match fitness, reports reliable journalist Phil Hay.
The 23-year-old has made 42 appearances for the club in all competitions this season, but was not included in the Whites’ squad to play Brentford on Easter Monday.
Leeds lost that match 2-0 and are now three points behind Sheffield United in the second automatic promotion place with two matches remaining.
And despite the risk of picking up injuries while on duty for the club’s second string, Marcelo Bielsa has often asked senior players to drop down to the Whites’ Under-23s this season.
Leeds fans took to Twitter to ask Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Hay why Phillips was playing and he was quickly able to answer their queries.
“Bielsa has done this all season – used the (Under) 23s to keep up the fitness of players who weren’t involved in first-team games,” he wrote.
Bielsa has done this all season – used the 23s to keep up the fitness of players who weren't involved in first team games.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 23, 2019
Not only was Phillips given a run out in the Premier League Cup semi-final against Newcastle United, but several other Leeds first-team squad members also featured.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Gaetano Berardi, Jack Clarke and Izzy Brown all played a part although they could not prevent the Whites falling to a 3-0 defeat.
Clarke came on as a substitute against Brentford but still started the match last night.
Leeds are back in action against Aston Villa on Sunday, which will give Bielsa’s players ample time to recover – whether or not they featured in the Under-23s last night.
The Whites then travel to Ipswich Town on the final day of the season hoping to seal promotion to the Premier League.