Billy Sharp has been one of the better players for Leeds United so far this season, but the forward was not included in the squad for the clash against Brentford at Griffin Park on Saturday.
It must have come as a surprise to many why the 28-year-old, who has scored once in the Championship this season since moving from Southampton in the summer transfer window, was not even on the substitutes’ bench.
Was he injured? Had he not done enough in training to merit a place in the squad? Did the new manager not rate him?
Darko Milanic, who was officially appointed the new Leeds manager just a few days ago, has now explained why Sharp was left out of the squad.
‘It was a technical decision’, he told BBC Radio Leeds. ‘I knew if we play this game with so many young players in the middle – with three – there will be a lot of dirty work to do and I knew that it will be necessary to change them’.
Leaving Sharp may have seemed a sensible move to the 46-year-old before the game, but it did not help much against Brentford.
Goals from Jota and Alan McCormack saw the Bees register a 2-0 win, leaving Leeds 13th in the Championship table with 13 points from nine matches, just three points behind sixth-placed Derby County.