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Middlesbrough loss highlights Uwe Rosler's dilemma with Leeds' youngsters

Elland Road Revie Stand

As talented as they are, the workload of Championship football is already taking its toll on the academy graduates.

The Whites were beaten comfortably by Middlesbrough at the Riverside yesterday, in what was undoubtedly the lowest point of Uwe Rosler's tenure at the club so far.

Despite the hosts only registering two shots on target in the whole game, Leeds conceded three goals without reply, and looked as dishevelled as they have since the German took charge.

It was a game which propelled a number of issues to the surface for his team, and not least the over-reliance on Leeds' youngsters; who, for as good as they are, can't continue to be depended on to the degree they are at present.

It's a concern which Rosler has already highlighted, and one which completes the dilemma he faces. The 46-year-old is aware that his youngsters can't maintain such a pace, but the alternatives evidently aren't up to the task of supplementing their contributions in the manager's eyes.

Speaking after their 2-1 win at MK Dons the weekend before last, Rosler raised the doubts over Leeds' need to persist with his young players week in, week out, when commenting on the form of Charlie Taylor.

“At the moment he’s pushing himself to the limit in every single game," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “When you play 46 games that can be a big ask."

The same applies to Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt; aged 18 and 20, who were wholly uneffective up against Middlesbrough's experienced midfield partnership of Grant Leadbitter and Adam Clayton.

The pair are undoubtedly talented, but the signs of their slowing of form are already apparent. With the demand of exertion, as well as reliance when it comes on them when it comes to producing play, they are slowly being sapped of their contributions to games.

Sooner or later, Rosler's hand will be forced for him. The alternative squad members might not be taking his fancy, but he will have to lessen the workload on his young players, even if it must come to the detriment of Leeds' immediate quality of play.

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