| 11.8°C Belfast

Leeds target England goalkeeper after boss says Peacock-Farrell would have been dropped


Marcelo Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell could soon have a massive fight on his hands for a starting spot at Leeds United.

Leeds have kept just one clean sheet in their last six outings and manager Marcelo Bielsa said that he was going to start Jamal Blackman against Bristol City this weekend, had the Chelsea loanee not suffered a season-ending injury and returned to his former club.

It was hardly a vote of confidence in 22-year-old Peacock-Farrell, who has started all 17 of the club's Championship games so far this season.

Now the Daily Mirror has claimed that Bielsa wants to bring in England stopper Tom Heaton, who has played just three games for Burnley this season.

Explaining his decision to go public on his 'would-have' decision to drop Peacock-Farrell, Bielsa explained that he hopes the admission could force an upturn in form from the current incumbent of the Leeds gloves.

"When you leave a position that you have, when you go from a starting position to a substitute one it can have a positive aspect," he explained.

"And I didn’t want that Bailey doesn’t find out that he has lost his position. It’s not very serious when you lose your position as a starter because it’s football. You have good moments and bad moments and it’s the same for every one of us but it’s important that when someone loses a right, that he finds out why this happens and makes the correction he needs to make.

"If I had hidden the situation I wouldn’t have given to Farrell the opportunity to find out the consequences of his performance.

"What is the risk that I took into account to express the fact that Blackman deserved and won his position as a starter?

"I think it was very important for Farrell to find out he had lost his position because if you are not aware of your performance you cannot make any corrections.

"In this case he got (his position) back without doing anything to get it back, destiny game it back to him but I wanted him to know the level of his peformance. Thanks to that he will become a better goalkeeper, if he feels the answers we all expect from him."

Peacock-Farrell may not start this weekend nonetheless due to a knee injury subsequently suffered in training.

Belfast Telegraph