Leeds United summer signing Dario Del Fabro has been working hard in the under-21 side ever since he moved to Elland Road from Caglari on loan.
He earned his way onto the bench for the 3-1 win against Blackpool last weekend and while he didn’t get onto the pitch, it’s a sign that head coach Neil Redfearn has one eye on him.
However, during the under-21 side’s 3-3 draw against Nottingham Forest yesterday, Del Fabro made a decision which could set his debut for the first team back some time.
The Italian under-19 international kicked out at Forest’s Roger Riera and was unsurprisingly shown a straight red card for the incident, which won’t have pleased Redfearn, who has only just relinquished control of the under-21 setup at the club.
Redfearn has always maintained that if players perform consistently and handle themselves in the right way, they will get chances and it’s a shame that a moment of madness reflects negatively on the teenager who put in so much hard work to get that place on the bench against Blackpool.
Redfearn could now take two approaches with Del Fabro as he mulls over whether to offer the youngster some first team game time this winter.
Firstly, he could do nothing and adhere to the responsibility protocol he seems to have developed since Massimo Cellino confirmed him as head coach.
In short, he can let the red card sink in and monitor how Del Fabro reacts to it.
What he’ll be looking for is a mature and professional response as the defender looks to make up for the incident.
Secondly, he could take a more hands on approach and deal with the matter directly.
Del Fabro is a member of Leeds’ first team squad as much as he is a regular part of the under-21 side.
Redfearn could engage him, tell him what’s expected, tell him he’s let the club down and given him any other message he feels is appropriate.
Ultimately, he’s showcased a part of his nature and character which could affect the under-21 side or the senior team at a more important part of the season and Redfearn will more than likely apply common sense to the situation in the hope that he responds positively.