Jamie Shackleton has instated that competition for places within the Leeds United squad is key and is one of the main reasons behind the Whites’ promising start to the new season.
The 19-year-old made his first league start of the campaign against Barnsley at the weekend and played an important role in midfield, as Leeds returned to the top of the Championship table on goal difference with a 2-0 win at Oakwell.
Shackleton has made five appearances for Leeds this season and was given a chance to impress from the start at the weekend due to an injury to Adam Forshaw.
Forshaw picked up a hip problem prior to the clash at Oakwell, but is expected to return for the game against Derby County at Elland Road on Saturday lunchtime – meaning Shackleton is likely to return to the bench.
However, Shackleton has insisted that competition for starting places within the team is crucial and is one of the main reasons behind Leeds’ positive start to the season.
“Everyone in the squad wants the same thing,” said Shackleton, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“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.
“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.”
Shackleton was able to establish himself in the first team at Leeds last season and made 24 appearances for the Whites in all competitions.
I completely agree with Shackleton here. Leeds have got a strong squad and having competition between the players for starting places is key.
Having good players on the bench and pushing for starting places means that the players who are in the team know that they need to perform well, otherwise they’re going to lose their place.
Shackleton is a very promising young player and he could have a big future ahead of him at Leeds. He played very well against Barnsley at the weekend and I think he’s going to get plenty of opportunities in the first team this season.
He’s just got to be patient and make sure that when he gets his chance, he has to take it.