Steve Evans explains Lewie Coyle's inclusion, admits decision must be made on his future

Leeds United East Stand

Leeds United take on Fulham in the Championship this evening.

Leeds United manager Steve Evans has told the club's official YouTube channel that Scott Wootton's own goal against Watford wasn't a factor in choosing Lewie Coyle over him tonight.

The Whites lost 1-0 away at Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday, as Wootton's own goal condemned Leeds to defeat at Vicarage Road - but they have a chance to quickly bounce back as they take on Fulham at Elland Road this evening.

Leeds' side tonight features a host of changes, as Liam Bridcutt, Stuart Dallas and Giuseppe Bellusci all drop out, with Tom Adeyemi, Alex Mowatt and Liam Cooper coming in - but the biggest change comes at right back.

Wootton is out of the team after that own goal, with academy graduate Lewie Coyle starting his first league game for Leeds this evening.

Coyle, 20, has made a substitute appearance in the Championship and has one start in the FA Cup to his name, so tonight's game is the biggest challenge of his young career so far.

Now, manager Evans has denied that Wootton is out of the team because of his own goal, but did suggest that the former Manchester United youngster has been hurting since Saturday evening, and will have a big role at Leeds in the future.

Evans also told the club's official YouTube channel that he thinks Coyle has been 'outstanding' in training, but says Leeds must make a decision over his future, and tonight will give Evans an indication over whether he's worth keeping long-term.

"No, not at all," said Evans. "How the kid is afterwards is a big factor. The kid has been hurting badly, and it would have been irresponsible for me to put him out at Elland Road tonight. That my opinion as a manager who looks after his players at all times, but Scott Wootton has a big part to play between now and the end of the season for sure, and he'll be back in."

"You have to be outstanding in training and outstanding in the Under-21's to be playing in the first team, and Lewie Coyle has been outstanding in the Under-21's, and for the last couple of weeks - and it is a couple of weeks, not two months - he's been outstanding in training on a daily basis. When we looked at an opportunity to give him some match time and the experience [we took it], because we've got to make a decision."

"Is Lewis Coyle good enough to go forward and be part of a promotion team next season? I think he is, but these games are going to test him," he added.

Are you happy to see Coyle start over Wootton tonight?

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