Date: 8th March 2018 at 8:00pm
Written by:

OPINION

Paul Heckingbottom must not drop Bailey Peacock-Farrell for Leeds United’s game against Reading on Saturday as it could cause the 21-year-old goalkeeper to suffer a significant setback. 

The Leeds manager made the bold decision to start the 21-year-old goalkeeper against Wolves on Wednesday and Peacock-Farrell didn’t let him down.

The Whites may have crashed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the current league leaders, but their goalkeeper put in an impressive display to stop the defeat from becoming embarrassing.

Peacock-Farrell had every reason to be pleased with his performance after the game as he made enough important saves to create a video highlight reel after the game that made him look like a goalkeeper capable of being Leeds’ number one choice.

While it may have only been one game, the 21-year-old is no doubt riding high and eager to prove that he can perform to that level again on Saturday.

If Heckingbottom drops him, then he would be pulling the rug from underneath his feet and Peacock-Farrell’s confidence could take a huge blow which would affect his development.

Confidence is vital to a footballer being able to play well, but particularly if they’re a goalkeeper.

After playing well against Wolves, the goalkeeper will wrongly question himself and his display if it doesn’t see him start against Reading.

Who knows how much damage could be done to his long-term future because of that potential decision.

Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening post attended Heckingbottom’s pre-game press conference for the Reading clash and shared, via his personal Twitter account, that the Leeds’ manager was only considering starting him.

In the same press conference, Hay also revealed that Heckingbottom confirmed that Andy Lonergan was set to return to training on Friday, which suggested that the veteran goalkeeper could be in contention to start against Reading.

While Lonergan’s experience makes him a worthy goalkeeper to call upon, the Leeds manager must resist the urge and stick by the decision he made for the Wolves clash.

As even if Peacock-Farrell is mentally strong to cope with wrongly being dropped, it’s not something he deserves after Wednesday’s game.