Leeds boss Steve Evans needs to give Lewie Coyle a proper run in the side with play-off hopes almost completely dashed

Elland Road Revie Stand

The young full-back may benefit from a poor week for the Whites.

With Leeds' play-off hopes almost completely dashed for another season, it is arguably time that Steve Evans rewarded Lewie Coyle for his promising start to life in and around the first-team by handing the youngster a prolonged run in the side. 

The 20-year-old has made three appearances in all competitions for the Whites this season - including playing the full 90 minutes during the FA Cup victory over Rotherham - and has shown some signs that suggests that he can enjoy as promising a career as some of the other academy graduates that have been given their chance in recent years.

And with the recent defeats to Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday leaving United 13 points off the top six, Coyle may prove to be the beneficiary of a poor week for the club, that also saw Everton edge closer to completing a deal to sign Sam Byram (via Yorkshire Evening Post).

Although Evans may not be keen to take too many risks at this stage of the season - as it could potentially anger supporters if they feel that the towel is being thrown in already, while a dreadful run of form could see the club dragged back into the relegation fight - he may well be better off switching his attention to the next campaign, and thus, looking to the players who are more likely to guide United to promotion next year. 

Scott Wootton has done a decent job playing on the right-hand side of the back four, and is unquestionably a good utility option to have around the squad, but recent results have arguably confirmed that he is not capable of dealing with the very best wingers that the Championship has to offer. 

Coyle is unlikely to be ready either, but with the club needing an incredible run to move back into play-off contention, or a truly awful spell to fall into the jaws of the bottom three, Evans has a golden opportunity to provide the full-back with the experience that will benefit him immensely next season. 

Switching the attention on preparing for next year, while also ensuring that they still do enough to get through this campaign, may result in further frustrating scorelines like the ones they suffered against Ipswich and the Owls, but it may put the squad in a much stronger position when the new season begins. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch