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Neil Redfearn praises Leeds United's Lewie Coyle

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

Neil Redfearn says the Leeds United youngster is as tough as old boots.

Lewie Coyle of Leeds United FC during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Leeds United and Rotherham United at Elland Road on January 9, 2016 in Leeds, England.

Neil Redfearn has told Radio Yorkshire that Leeds United youngster Lewie Coyle is a "tough cookie" who is capable of playing in the first team next season.

The 21-year-old defender is impressing on loan at Fleetwood Town in League One after being deemed surplus to requirements this season.

The right-back has Gaetano Berardi and Luke Ayling ahead of him in the pecking order at Elland Road but Redfearn will know more than most what Coyle is capable of, having served as Leeds' academy director from 2010 until 2015.

Lewie Coyle of Fleetwood Town in action during the Sky Bet League One match between Northampton Town and Fleetwood Town at Sixfields on August 12, 2017 in Northampton, England.

And the former Whites manager has shared an insight into the United prospect, saying he is one "tough cookie".

Asked if Coyle can push for a spot in the Leeds team next season, Redfearn replied on Radio Yorkshire: “He is more than capable.

“He is getting exposure at that level and he is a tough character anyway. Sometimes players are loaned out to toughen them up in a man’s world, but let me tell you he is a tough cookie.

Sutton United's Ghanaian defender Kevin Amankwaah (L) vies with Leeds United's English defender Lewie Coyle during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Sutton United and...

“He is as rugged as they get and he will revel in that.”

Leeds fans wouldn't automatically associate him with being a 'hard' player, but toughness might run in the blood for Coyle, whose brother Tommy is a professional boxer.

His career at Elland Road isn't on the ropes just yet, but if the Yorkshire club win promotion to the Premier League then you wonder if Coyle - contracted until 2020 - would still have a role to play at the club.

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