Three priorities for Leeds United between now and the end of the season

Elland Road pitchside

Here is a look at what Leeds United should be aiming to achieve.

So transfer deadline day was a washout, but Leeds United still have goals to aim for, with the season far from over.

Here is a look at three priorities at Elland Road between now and the end of the campaign.

Extend contracts for key young players

Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt, and Charlie Taylor are even more important to Leeds United's cause now Sam Byram has left. Leeds must not leave themselves in the same poor negotiating position again as they did regarding Byram, which left them cashing in for under £4 million with his contract expiring. The trio's contract run until June 2017, meaning Leeds are at a critical point to extend their deals, or in 12 months time they could get stung once again.

Earn a top 10 finish and place above rivals

If a play-off spot is out of bounds, Leeds must not forget their original season objective, to finish inside the top 10. Another 15th placed finish will show a lack of progress, as will an increase of just a place or two. Finishing strongly will lift the mood heading into next season, and increase their chances of keeping their young trio around, and extending the loan of midfielder Liam Bridcutt into a permanent deal. If a top 10 finish proves beyond them, then finishing above Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United is essential.

Give Coyle and Phillips more chances

Leeds have not been a side who are afraid traditionally to blood their youngsters, and two more are deserving of further opportunities. Lewie Coyle should get games with Sam Byram gone, even if Gaetano Berardi will be tough to dislodge. Leeds should abandon the Scott Wootton experiment at right-back in the mean time and give Coyle a chance to show what he can do. Kalvin Phillips is also challenged to get games in a very crowded midfield, but whenever he has been called upon he has done well, even scoring late last season. If a play-off run is beyond Leeds, then at some stage they must look to the future and throw both players in to learn more about them.

 

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