Leeds United have a squad of just 22 first-team players.
He said: “I build the team the way we want to build it, the head coach and I. We don’t want a big squad because we play 11 players, and we’ve got 22 players. And every week you have to send five players to the stands. It can be very embarrassing sometimes. I think we have 22 players, and they are all good players.”
Cellino’s insistence of possessing a small playing squad is down to the fact that he does not want to disappoint players every week, having to send a group of them to the stands if not named in matchday squads.
This is a wise move, as it results in fewer players being distressed at being left out, but there are negatives to it.
Injuries and poor form could hit the first-team, and in that situation, there are few top class back-up players to move into the first-team and replace them.
This situation was seen last weekend, as the Whites lost 3-0 to Middlesbrough, with a team missing a few key players.
Giuseppe Bellusci and Mirco Antenucci were named in Uwe Rosler’s starting XI, and they showed that they were unsuitable as options for his tactical set-up, but with the small squad, Rosler has no choice but to stick with them.
Cellino has done good work in recent months to build a competitive squad at Championship level, removing much of the deadwood in the Leeds side to ensure stability and increased on-pitch performances.
14 players were released over the summer to good effect, and the squad Cellino has built is one with first-team quality. However, there are still weaknesses with the strength in depth in the side, and it would not be a surprise to see Cellino delve back into the transfer market when the January window opens.