Steve Evans responds to Leeds supporters' criticism of Scott Wootton after defender's calamitous FA Cup own goal

Elland Road Revie Stand

The 24-year-old's own goal sent Watford into the next round of the FA Cup.

Steve Evans has responded to the criticism that Leeds fans aimed at Scott Wootton after the defender scored a comical own goal during United's FA Cup defeat to Watford on Saturday, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

The 24-year-old's bizarre volley from a Hornets cross was the only thing that separated the two sides at Vicarage Road, and it led to Wootton coming under fire from sections of his own supporters for the rest of the game.

And Evans has hinted that he is not entirely surprised that the former Manchester United man received the criticism he did, but suggested that the amount of away fans at the game made the abuse sound worse than if it had happened to a different player at another club.

"They've travelled a long way down the country. They see a player whose form's been a bit inconsistent and they see him score an own goal," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"That wouldn't just happen at Leeds but because of the size of the support, it probably [sounds] worse."

Wootton's best position is at centre-back, but with Gaetano Berardi on the sidelines and Sam Byram being used further up the field before his departure in January, he has been given every chance to prove himself on the right-hand side of defence under Evans.

And while the defender's versatility makes him a decent option to have in the squad, the defeat against the Premier League side - as well as the manner in which the deciding goal came - confirmed that it is time to try a different option at right-back.

Berardi is nearing a return after a lengthy absence (via Leeds' official website), while highly-rated youngster Lewie Coyle was on the bench against Quique Sanchez Flores' side, and has impressed when given a chance this season.

And with Evans now conceding that Wootton has become difficult to rely upon recently, selecting him for the visit of Fulham on Tuesday would be almost as strange as the own goal that ended Leeds' cup run.

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