Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn has explained a change he wants to see in versatile youngster Sam Byram.
Byram’s performances this season haven’t been what Leeds fans have grown used to with the boss suggesting that he’s taken for granted because of his positive start to life at Elland Road.
Redfearn’s advice? He needs to calm down slightly, trust his manager and go about his business without thinking about the pressure of playing for such a huge club.
“He knows me, he understands me and he knows what I’m about. He knows that he’s got my backing and confidence and he knows what I think about him as a player. Hopefully he can be a bit more relaxed,” Redfearn is quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
One of Redfearn’s best qualities is the way he takes pressure off of his players and encourages them to play a fearless brand of football.
That’s what Leeds fans were treated to when Redfearn was caretaker boss earlier in the season and it seems to be what the coach is trying to get the team back to over the next couple of weeks.
It’s very easy to see how the pressure can build up over and affect younger players at Leeds.
The club is in a position, just outside the bottom three, which doesn’t fit a club of Leeds’ stature and size.
Until they get back into the Premier League, there is always going to be that massive weight of pressure and expectation because of how successful Leeds were before they dropped out of the top flight and into the Football League.
Byram is one of many talented young players currently in the first team squad at Elland Road and someone who can play different positions, forming a key part of midfield or defence.
It’s encouraging to see Redfearn engaging in trying to rectify the form of one of his best youngsters, rather than falling back on the luxury of a big squad.