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Leeds United head coach Evans addresses Mulhern, Stokes, Erwin's first team chances

Elland Road pitchside

Leeds boss Steve Evans is not likely to give any of his under-21 strikers first team chances any time soon.

Leeds United are meandering towards the end of the season, with little to play for other than pride.

Currently in 14th position, safe from relegation but unlikely even to crack the top 10, it could be an ideal time to give fringe and under-21 players a call.

Asked whether he would be giving chances to any of the strikers in the under-21 side, head coach Steve Evans explained to BBC Radio Leeds he would be reluctant to do so.

Evans was asked specifically whether any of Frank Mulhern, Eoghan Stokes or summer signing Lee Erwin would get first team starts or make the bench between now and the end of the season.

He responded: "The player [mentioned], Lee etc, they need to do more to make that bench, which gets picked fully on merit.

"You have to produce top class performance before we consider. Under-21s is a million miles away from first team.

"They would have to be best player on the pitch every time they play for under-21s, such as we had with Lewie Coyle, such as we had with the Cooks, Mowatts, Taylor. When they are outstanding week upon week, if they can deliver that, then every head coach wants to pick them."

Of the trio, Stokes is currently out with a muscle injury, while Mulhern has not met the call which Evans has demanded, to be consistently outstanding, instead hitting a couple of streaks early on in the campaign.

Erwin remains an enigma, having struggled badly since signing from Motherwell last summer to the point where he is categorised in the same breath as two teenagers yet to make a first team appearance, having failed to impress when given opportunities.

Would it do any of them any harm to be given a place on the bench when Leeds are struggling to score goals? With Paul Hart having left his role as head of academy manager, a bit of encouragement from Evans could go a long way.

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