Leeds head coach explains Lee Erwin and Jordan Botaka omissions

Steve Evans has explained why Lee Erwin and Jordan Botaka did not make the matchday 18.

Head coach Steve Evans has told BBC Radio Leeds why two of the club's summer signings did not make the matchday squad against Preston North End.

Neither Lee Erwin or Jordan Botaka were named on the bench for the 1-0 win, and Evans has explained he simply felt there were better options available. 

Evans explained that Erwin, who spent a brief spell on loan at League One sie Bury earlier in the season, is not at the required fitness level to warrant a place in the side.

He is confident that the striker is putting the effort in to get back on track and can still be an important player for the club.

Evans said: "Lee Erwin needs to get fitter. He can either get fitter or go to Scotland. The nice thing is he's working so hard at Thorp Arch, I think he's got his sleeping bag in.

"When we get him where we want him, which is only where he was at Motherwell, we're getting Lee back in control [of his fitness] and he'll have a big future at Leeds United."

Erwin has only featured as a substitute in the Championship for Leeds, and his ongoing fitness issues are disappointing because with Leeds' busy fixture list, and Chris Wood failing to score regularly, he could have had a very important role.

Discussing former Eredivisie star Botaka, Evans explained that he missed his opportunity to impress and has had to go the the back of the queue.

"Young Jordan's been unfortunate. He came on against Charlton, we didn't think he helped us open the door.

"I changed the bench up for different reasons for the game against Wolverhampton and I want to reward people, I wanted Kalvin Phillips back on the bench today, he's now in the best shape of his life and he's ready to play a part."

Botaka is a player who like Erwin could have an key role to play for Leeds between now and the end of the season, and if the duo can get right then they will give the side an extra dimension, but first they must convince boss Steve Evans that they are deserved of an extended run in the team.

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