Quick links


Whelan comments on disappointing Leeds performer, believes change likely

Elland Road pitchside

Noel Whelan believes Sam Byram could have to be benched at Leeds United if others

Former Leeds striker Noel Whelan has suggested Sam Byram could be set for a spell on the bench.

Byram started again for Leeds at the weekend, but was unable to positively influence the draw with Brentford in his team's favour.

His performance was not terrible, but it was not to the high level he was showing last season on the wing, and in pre-season.

With new signing Jordan Botaka waiting to make his debut, Whelan feels Byram may have to make way for the DR Congo international.

He told the post-match broadcast on BBC Radio Leeds on Saturday: "He's trying, but certain things things are not coming off. It's because we expect so much from him. We're not seeing the Byram we're used to seeing. When we don't we're disappointed.

"I don't understand why Botaka wasn't on the bench, may be he would have come on. May be when Botaka fully fit, I might understand if Botaka replaces him."

Whelan does not necessarily feel that putting Byram in his old position at right-back is for the best right now, given the form of his replacement Gaetano Berardi.

He said: "I couldn't justify taking Berardi off. He's playing very well."

This leaves Byram facing a potential spell on the sidelines waiting for an opportunity. Botaka did not even make the bench at Elland Road against Brentford, but by time the midweek fixture comes around a decision will have to be made if he is judged to be ready.

The safe option would be to put him on the bench against Ipswich, and bring him on if Byram does not perform, but if head coach Uwe Rosler really believes the new signing is ready, the academy star could watch on from the bench instead.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch