By Sam Stone

19th Jul, 2022 | 5:10pm

Leeds United: Darren Ambrose defends John McGinn horror tackle on Archie Gray

Darren Ambrose has defender John McGinn’s horror tackle on 16-year-old Leeds United midfielder Archie Gray suggesting “nothing is ever a friendly”.

The 27-year-old Scotland midfielder’s late challenge in the 69th minute saw the Leeds United teenager leave the pitch on a stretcher.

Despite it only being a pre-season friendly, Ambrose seemed supportive of McGinn’s competitive edge.

Ambrose told talkSPORT on Tuesday 19 July: “You’re trying to get fit and avoid getting injured but ultimately nothing’s ever a friendly.

“You go out, you protect yourself at all times and if you think you’re going to get injured don’t go into these challenges.”

Missed the point

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Ambrose is completely wide of the mark on this one.

There is no doubting that pre-season matches do need to have a competitive edge to them and it’s good to see both sides playing with the same intensity that is found in the Premier League.

However, McGinn’s tackle was simply mistimed, over-forceful and red card worthy.

The 27-year-old’s tackle was reckless and would’ve been deemed poor if it had been on a 33-year-old veteran.

Gray being 16 should not even be talked about in this scenario, anyone could look at the tackle by the Aston Villa man and tell that it was mistimed and meant to hurt whoever was on the end of it.

Ultimately it is a risk playing youngsters such as Gray with their physical development not yet at its peak.

However, getting teenagers up to speed with first-team football is invaluable for their experience going forwards.

It will be a painful one for Gray to take, but he will certainly come back stronger and will learn from the first-team minutes he has got under his belt.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites now want to sign this striker with a rival set to kickstart a major £30million+ transfer battle