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Steve Evans suggests Gaetano Berardi is hurting mentally

Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi has struggled with injuries this season.

Leeds United head coach Steve Evans has suggested to The Yorkshire Evening Post that defender Gaetano Berardi is hurting mentally due to his injury problems this season.

Berardi picked up an ankle injury in December and is not guaranteed a place in the Leeds starting lineup anymore.

The 27-year-old right-back, who can also play as a left-back, returned to the Whites’ squad earlier this week.

The Switzerland international was an unused substitute during Leeds’s 1-1 draw with Fulham at Elland Road in the Championship on Tuesday evening.

Evans has said that he understands that it must be hard for Berardi to find himself out of the team despite making a full recovery.

“I was really keen to put Berardi on at some stage on Tuesday because the kid has worked so hard,” the Scot told The Yorkshire Evening Post.

“When you get an injury and you get told you’ll be out for as long as Gaetano’s been out, you really hurt mentally.

“But no-one should be guaranteed a run in the team because you have to produce performances.”

Berardi, who has been on the books of Leeds since the summer of 2014, has made 17 appearances in the Championship for the West Yorkshire outfit so far this season.

The defender has created seven chances, has a pass accuracy of 75% and a shot accuracy of 29%, and has won 29 headers, three dribbles and 29 tackles.

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