There wasn’t much in the way of positive Leeds United injury news from Marcelo Bielsa’s press conference on Thursday.
We were hoping that Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo would be declared fit but all Bielsa said is that they continue to be assessed.
That doesn’t sound hopeful, especially as an earlier update from Bielsa had said that rushing Phillps back could make his injury worse.
Replacing Phillips on the pitch is a problem that we’ve talked about a lot but the Rodrigo issue is arguably just as big.
Without him, Leeds just don’t have the same influence on games and we were desperately flat against Aston Villa.
Tyler Roberts has started the last three games now and really hasn’t made much of an impact. In 15 Premier League appearances he’s still looking for his first goal.
Enter, stage left, Pablo Hernandez.
Pablo Hernandez has only started two games this season and the last one was at the beginning of November.
He’s still looking for his first goal (although he was desperately unlucky not to score against Leicester) but he showed the devastating impact he can have on games when he made two goals in an eight-minute cameo against Newcastle.
We feel he has to start on Monday and we know that the big majority of Leeds fans feel the same way.
Calls for him to play go up every game but we’re convinced this is the one that’s tailor-made for him.
For whatever reason, Bielsa hasn’t fancied Hernandez this season, despite the huge contribution he made in the Championship run-in.
If this season is his swansong at Leeds then we’d like him to go out in a blaze of glory.
The West Ham game seems perfect for him. They’re in a brilliant run of form but could be suffering from both senior keepers being out.
Leeds are one win away from safety and we’ll be going for the win on Monday.
We’re far more likely to get the three points with Hernandez on the pitch than Roberts.
This is the time to unleash him for his third start of the season – and there will be a huge outpouring of support for the attacker if he is named on the teamsheet at 7pm on Monday.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Mayhem’ – Phil Hay pinpoints Man City clash for return of long-term injured Leeds star