Leeds United head coach Steve Evans explained on Sky Sports 1 on Saturday afternoon (April 9) why he did include Giuseppe Bellusci in the starting lineup for the Championship game against Burnley away from home.
Bellusci started the match at Turf Moor on the substitutes’ bench and did not come on, as Leeds lost 1-0.
Speaking to Sky Sports 1 in the build-up to their coverage of the match, Evans explained his decision regarding the central defender, who has made mistakes in recent matches.
“Well, that’s a response to talking to the kid this morning, I think,” said Evans when asked about his decision about Bellusci. “On the training ground yesterday, there was still a thought of starting him, that we would play Bellusci, but talking to him, he was just feeling bang on to go out there and play today mentally.
“You have to be mentally and physically right when you come to Turf Moor, especially the form they are in, so he will play a big part on Tuesday going forward."
Evans told LUTV before the match about his decision over the 26-year-old Italian centre-back: “I was going to put him in the starting XI. It was just chatting to him, and sometimes a player needs your support in a different way.
“I wanted to take him away from the limelight of the cameras today, freshen him up and I’m sure he’ll have a big part to play when we go to Birmingham.”
It seems that Evans did not think that Bellusci was in the right frame of mind, which is why the former Catania defender did not start against Burnley.
It was probably the best decision, given the centre-back’s recent performances and mistakes, and perhaps he will be back in the team for the game against Tuesday as Evans suggests.
Leeds will take on Birmingham City away from home at St. Andrew’s Stadium in the Championship.