It was a convincing win for Leeds United’s Under-23 side on Monday afternoon. They strengthened their position at the top of Premier League 2 Division 2 with a 4-1 away win over Burnley – despite Mark Jackson only having his normal Under-23 players to work with. Normally, Jackson is handed a few first-team players who are in need of some minutes.
The likes of Rodrigo, Pablo Hernandez, Tyler Roberts and Ian Poveda have all featured for the reserves this season – but on Monday, only Sam Greenwood had tasted first-team action, and that came in the form of a substitute appearance in the 3-0 defeat to Crawley on Sunday. Crysencio Summerville – signed from Feyenoord in the summer – netted a hat-trick.
Greenwood got his seventh in nine Premier League 2 games – but there were plenty of other star performaners. Niall Huggins was incredible from the left side of the defence, dribbling up and down non-stop and looking very comfortable with the ball at his feet. He should have capped off his display by finding the back of the net but missed two decent chances.
Though Ian Harte is his agent, Huggins could not have received praise from a better player given that the Irishman is one of the club’s best ever left-sided defenders. Harte posted on Twitter following the win to congratulate Huggins on his display.
Another excellent performance was that of 18-year-old Charlie Cresswell. Son of ex-Leeds striker Richard, the centre-back has already emerged as one of the leaders in Jackson’s team – proving to be somewhat of a throwback to a rock-solid, towering centre-back. However, on Monday – on what was a dismal pitch – he showed he is more than capable of the technical side of the game too. Posting on Instagram, he uploaded a video of his highlights.
Plenty have responded to the minute-long clip, praising Cresswell for his performance which sees him have the ability to shake it up in terms of being a no-nonsense defender and one that can play in midfield – a young Ben White, for example. Olly Casey was handed game time for the first team on Sunday but his performance has been criticised.
Many responded to the video of Cresswell shining for the reserves and while he has only played once for the senior side – the Carabao Cup defeat to Hull City – many are of the opinion that Cresswell is beginning to offer more than his U23 partner Casey. Others praised the England Under-19 star, in response to his Instagram video.