After producing an outstanding display in their first Premier League game after well over a decade, Leeds were less than convincing as they crashed out of the Carabao Cup at the first time of asking.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side may have slipped to a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend, but they more than held their own against the reigning top-flight champions.
And whilst the Leeds boss rang the changes for the contest against Hull on Wednesday night, he surely would have been expecting a lot more from his fringe players, particularly someone like Tyler Roberts.
With Bielsa calling on a number of much younger players, Roberts, with 55 first-team appearances to his name for the club, was actually one of the more experienced players on the pitch, even despite himself only being 21.
The Wales international came off the bench to play against the Reds on Saturday, and he had the perfect opportunity against Hull to stake his claim for a starting spot for Leeds’ next Premier League clash.
Instead, he badly let his manager down with a hugely disappointing display, with his 6.4 match rating only better than teammate Oliver Casey on the night.
The 5 foot 11 ace conceded possession a staggering 17 times over the course of the 90 minutes, and lost eight out of his 13 total duels. But aside from being dominated too easily, Roberts was not much of a threat when he had the ball, registering no shots on goal or dribbles whatsoever and providing just one key pass.
Whilst Bielsa may not be too fussed about exiting the Carabao Cup – the Premier League of will course be the Whites’ priority this season – the game against Hull did offer some of his players the chance to prove that they can be a useful part of the first-team squad.
Instead, Roberts and co showed that Leeds’ strength in depth needs a whole lot of work, and if they are going to achieve top-flight safety, it may have to be done with just a small core group of players.