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Antenucci admits he had to 'stay professional' while Redfearn overlooked him

The Leeds striker stopped short of using the word 'frustrated' but says he had to stay composed while he was out of the first team at Elland Road.

Leeds United's Mirco Antenucci admits all he could do was 'stay professional' and hope for another opportunity when he couldn't force his way into Neil Redfearn's first team, according to BBC Radio Leeds.

Antenucci has been a regular fixture within the Yorkshire side this campaign but did recently spend a spell on the substitutes' bench.

And, during that period, the Italian says he simply worked as hard as he could in order to influence Redfearn - the only man whose choice counts when it comes to team selection (in theory at least).

"I spent a period when I only played a little bit - and I stayed professional," the Italian said.

"Every training session, I'd work hard and the choice is down to the coach. I hope[d] to have another opportunity to play."

  GoalsAssistsChances CreatedAppearancesMinutes Played
Mirco Antenucci 10 2 21 32 2,115
Alex Mowatt 8 2 41 31 2,462
Souleymane Doukara 5 3 17 24 1,439
Billy Sharp 5 1 15 26 1,363

As Opta stats show, the striker is Leeds' top scorer in the Championship this term, having also registered two assists and created 21 chances.

Along with Sam Byram, meanwhile, Antenucci is Leeds' third-most active player this season - behind only Lewis Cook and Marco Silvestri.

The 30-year-old did face a spell on the bench recently, however, but his professionalism allowed him to bide his time. Upon returning, his two goals in two games will have served as a timely reminder to anyone that'd forgotten what the Italian is all about.

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