Why Evans was wrong to listen to his Leeds backroom staff regarding Antenucci

Elland Road

The Leeds United manager must be bold in his substitutions.

In a recent interview with BBC Radio Leeds, Steve Evans admitted that he was persuaded by his coaching staff not to bring Mirco Antenucci on during Leeds United’s 0-0 draw with Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

The Leeds boss was looking for a way to finally get the breakthrough against a resilient Addicks team but despite having Antenucci on the bench the Italian did not get any action.

“I know you say that if you bring Mirco in, does he get one, but it would have changed the shape,” Evans said.

But the simple fact is he is the manager and he should be making the decisions that could ultimately win football matches.

There is no doubt Leeds were the better side for much of the encounter, but Charlton were holding on and it is better to take a risk in the closing moments than simply watch the same players knock on the door again and again with the same result.

If Evans is going to succeed at Leeds he needs to start making bold decisions – like bringing on a dangerous striker with a point to prove with the clock ticking down in a 0-0 draw…or playing Sam Byram from the outset despite the player’s contract situation.

Football should not be about being safe, afraid to make a change in case it upsets the balance of the side; it should be about twisting the knife and ensuring your pressure ultimately pays off against a team that was there for the taking.

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