Sam Byram did not start for Leeds United in Wednesday night’s 0-0 draw with Hull City because he is not fit enough to play three times in a week, according to Phil Hay.

In Byram’s absence, midfielder Jamie Shackleton started at left-back in the Championship clash, as the Whites kept three clean sheets in a row on either side of the international break.

Some supporters questioned why Farke changed things after the weekend’s stunning win over Millwall, and The Athletic journalist Hay shared Farke’s thoughts after a discussion on the training ground.

“Farke said Byram wasn’t going to be ready for 90 minutes,” he wrote. “We spoke after the final training session, and Byram indicated that he wasn’t ready to begin.”

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“Farke is confident that Byram will soon be able to play three times per week.” But it will take time to recover after a couple of years of injury difficulties.”
Leeds and Farke have already had a tough season this year, with injuries playing a significant role, particularly in defense.

With Djed Spence out for eight weeks, Cody Drameh allowed to depart, Liam Cooper only recently returning from a long-term injury, and Junior Firpo still recuperating from injury, the full-back choices are limited right now.

Overplaying Byram when he clearly isn’t capable of doing so on a regular basis would have been an accident waiting to happen, and it’s preferable to prevent it when possible.


Shackleton has been a terrific utility player for Leeds this season, playing in midfield, as a winger, or at full-back on either side, and he isn’t affecting results, so it wasn’t worth the risk to bring Byram in if he wasn’t ready.

With Watford coming up this weekend, the expectation is that he will be ready to step in and provide us with a more natural choice in the role, resulting in three points rather than one.

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