Jamie Shackleton comments on competition at Leeds United

Jamie Shackleton
Jamie Shackleton

Leeds United central midfielder Jamie Shackleton has said that the competition for places is key at the Yorkshire club under Marcelo Bielsa.

The 19-year-old said that every player in the team wants to start for Leeds and play the entire 90 minutes.

The highly-rated youngster is blessed with energy, pace, strength and the ability to pick passes.

He has started in one Championship game so far, and further two have come from the bench. In addition, he has started in both the cup games for Leeds this season.

“Everyone in the squad wants the same thing,” said Shackleton to the Yorkshire Post.

“Everyone is fit, everyone is ready to play and whether you are in the starting XI or on the bench, like you saw when the lads went on from the bench and got the first goal, everyone is so together.

“Everyone is pushing in the same direction whether you are starting the game or on the bench because once your chance comes you have got to be ready. The competition for places is key.

“We have got depth we have got in each position, people coming off the bench like Eddie coming on and he is scoring goals.

“It’s vital really that people are competing for places and it’s a positive, competitive environment really for everyone to work in. Everyone wants to be starting games, everyone wants to be playing 90 minutes and that’s the key thing.

“That’s what everyone wants and, if you have to be patient and you have to wait for that, then, fair enough, but everyone is ready when the chance comes to step in and the starting XI will be just as strong.”

The future looks bright for the youngster. However, there is strong competition for places at Leeds and the youngster may have to wait for opportunities.

Leeds have enough quality in midfield and yet the youngster provides vital strength in depth to the side.

Shackleton was handed his fourth Leeds start in Sunday’s Championship clash at Barnsley when he replaced the injured Adam Forshaw.

Forshaw has been Bielsa’s first choice in central midfield this season, and he has performed brilliantly so far. However, Shackleton excelled in his absence and could give Bielsa a selection headache.

The former Boro midfielder is expected to be back for Saturday’s Championship clash against Derby County at Elland Road which means Shackleton might well find himself back on the bench.

Leeds have moved to the top of the Championship following their 2-0 win over Barnsley.

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