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Evans says Leeds United duo Bellusci and Cooper know their place is under threat

Elland Road Revie Stand

Steve Evans is not worried about leaving Sol Bamba out for another game as he recovers his fitness.

Leeds United head coach Steve Evans confirmed at his press conference that Sol Bamba is unlikely to return from injury in time to play against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

Broadcast by LUTV, head coach Evans said he had no qualms about playing centre-back duo Giuseppe Bellusci and Liam Cooper again.

The pair have conceded two goals in their last two games, a 1-0 loss to QPR and a 2-1 win over Hull City.

Evans says he is encouraged by their performances, although still sees areas for improvement.

He said: "I think both those lads have been outstanding in spells. Probably a little bit shy (from) where they should be in certain points of the matches, but I think both will be really pleased with how they've performed.

"They'll know that Sol Bamba is a big player for this football club, and he's the type of character that I want to get on the pitch, so they'll know when they see Sol back on the training ground that the competition for their shirt is under threat, so I think it's a good thing."

Evans went on to add that Bamba has not been ruled out of the weekend yet, and he will give the defender every chance to prove his fitness, but the match against the Addicks could be one week too early.

Bamba is the club captain and Evans has no plans to leave him on the bench if he is fit, knowing that his leadership can be vital in terms of spreading confidence and assurance around the side.

It is up to Cooper and Bellusci to prove why they both as individuals deserve to keep their place, but also could make it difficult for Evans if they show signs of really developing as a partnership this weekend, but to do so a clean sheet will be essential.

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