Tyler Roberts and Helder Costa scored as Leeds United came from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion’s U23s on Monday night, with coach Mark Jackson hailing the impact of two senior pros while speaking to LUTV.
With Marcelo Bielsa opting to hand opportunities to the likes of Raphinha and Rodrigo Moreno during Sunday’s goalless draw with Arsenal, a Wales international and a £17 million winger turned out for the reserves instead at Thorp Arch 24 hours later.
If Roberts or Costa were disappointed to miss out against Arsenal, they channelled their frustrations in the ideal way, inspiring Leeds to a 2-1 win against a West Brom side who had taken the lead in Yorkshire through the highly-rated Cheikh Diaby.
Roberts, a one-time Baggies youngster, clipped home the equaliser on the 80-minute mark with the outside of his boot, before Costa weaved through a string of tackles before finishing a jaw-dropping solo effort in stunning style.
“All I can say, with the lads dropping down (to U23 level), is that their attitude is fantastic, their work-rate is second to none,” Jackson said after a result which means Leeds are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League 2 Division 2 table.
“I can’t give (Roberts and Costa) enough credit, they are fantastic to work with and it’s a fantastic opportunity for the U23 players to play alongside these players.
“It’s really beneficial and it’s how our structure works. Marcelo wants the players to be sharp and ready to play the way we want to play.”
Roberts and Costa were regular starters as Bielsa’s side cruised to the Championship title last season. But, with Leeds boasting a new-found strength in depth after a £100 million summer investment, no one is guaranteed a place in the XI these days.
Costa’s stunning effort should also provide a welcome confidence booster after his horrific own goal in the 4-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.