By Ryan Darby

8th Jan, 2021 | 3:30pm

'That's their risk' - Crawley player sends warning to Leeds ahead of FA Cup showdown

Crawley Town striker Tom Nichols has warned Leeds United not to underestimate the League Two side or they risk a shock exit from the FA Cup.

Speaking via the Press Association, as cited by the Evening Express, Nichols has told Leeds that they risk defeat if they rest too many of their key players during Sunday’s FA Cup game.

He said: “If they want to rest players, that’s their risk. If they want to play the 23s then that will probably benefit us because it’s not an easy place to come this ground.

“We’ve got a good record here. We don’t have anything to fear, we’re in a good run of form and it’s probably the best time for us to play them really. Morale is high in camp.”

Marcelo Bielsa is known not to be a huge fan of making wholesale changes, but Sunday’s cup clash represents a good opportunity to bring in a number of fringe players.

Pascal Struijk, Ian Poveda and Helder Costa are all tipped to feature against the League Two side, according to Leeds Live.

Youngsters deserve the chance

Bielsa gave a rather stern response to questions about the FA Cup during his pre-match press conference, as he reiterated how seriously he is going to take the competition.

However, the meeting with Crawley represents a good opportunity to bring in some of the club’s younger stars who are currently impressing in the Premier League 2.

Players like Jamie Shackleton and Leif Davis may expect to start the game after failing to get consistent minutes from the start in the Premier League.

Charlie Cresswell and Sam Greenwood are also among the players who could feature in a youthful-looking Leeds side.

While on face value, it may appear that Bielsa is resting key Premier League players, these young stars also deserve the chance to impress in the first-team squad.

The club’s U-23 side are three points clear at the top of their Premier League 2 table and have only lost three from 11 games this season with some eye-catching performances.

In other Leeds United news, Mark Lawrenson predicts result of Leeds’ FA Cup clash v Crawley