Steve Evans has told his Leeds United players that they will be picked on form, not reputation.
Steve Evans has told Sky Sports Soccer Saturday, which was broadcasted on November 14th, that the first thing he said to his Leeds United players upon inheriting the managerial reins was that they would be selected on merit.
Evans did not want to pick players based on their reputations, and instead suggested to his team that their chances would be entirely influenced by their form.
Evans feels that his commitment to this policy has already been shown, as he left captain Sol Bamba out of Leeds’ most recent match, against Huddersfield Town, in favour of Giuseppe Bellusci.
"I think one of the things you have to do, if you say something to a group of men, is that you have to deliver," he said. "We had a recent example, when I first took over I said to the group, if you are in the starting team and you play well, then you keep your shirt.
"We brought the boy Bellusci in, because Sol was suspended. We go to Huddersfield last week, and I think everyone was expecting Sol to play, but we left him on the bench.
"Bellusci deserved to play, he was absolutely outstanding for two matches. If you deserve to keep your shirt, you keep it."
Bellusci has been a divisive figure at Leeds since joining, but he looks set to continue in their first-team, after Evans’ latest comments.
The Italian defender helped Leeds to pick up a credible 3-0 win against Huddersfield before the international break, and he didn’t put a foot wrong in the match.
Bellusci will be hoping that he has turned the corner at Elland Road, but he will need to continue to be solid, if he is to win over all of his doubters.
Last season, the 26-year-old was erratic, and he will need to show his good form over a prolonged period of time to prove that he has eradicated errors from his game.