Bellusci out but Silvestri may return for Leeds United’s Hillsborough trip

Marco Silvestri
Marco Silvestri

All eyes will be on Neil Redfearn’s teamsheet this week as Leeds United play their last away game of the season at Sheffield Wednesday.

Perhaps who actually plays will have more interest than the result with both teams have little except pride to play for at Hillsborough.

The big issue is whether any of the “sicknote six” as they have been dubbed by fans will be playing after pulling out of the Charlton game at late notice last weekend.

United have been at pains to say that all six players - Giuseppe Bellusci, Marco Silvestri, Mirco Antenucci, Souleymane Doukara, Edgar Cani and Dario Del Fabro - were genuinely injured last week, but supporters remain sceptical and are likely to make it difficult for the players to play for the club again.

The one exception could be goalkeeper Silvestri, who took to Twitter to defend himself and was backed up by his father, He has returned to training, according to chairman Andre Umbers, and if fit should surely be selected ahead of Stuart Taylor, who stood in for him at Charlton.

But one player definitely not playing will be defender Bellusci after the club said he was to see a specialist this week and would probably be out for the rest of the season - more news that was met by angry fans on social media.

Umbers admitted this week that the club needed to communicate better with fans, a section of who sang about it being time for Massimo Cellino to leave during last Saturday’s game.

He said: “Part of the reason we don’t communicate is because we’re dealing with so many issues at so many times, we can’t. We want to tell people all the good news.

“In good time we’ll set the bar right in the close season. We’ll set the right expectations for the fans.

“When you hear chants that are personal and divisive, they affect the players on the pitch. They affect family. But look, they’re a minority.

“It’s not an easy job running a club when you have such passionate fans who have such great loyalty. You only do your best. Sometimes you have to be unpopular, but you always have to think you’re doing the right thing.

“If we get communication and expectation-management right then people will see what we’re doing. But I accept that people want to see contracts signed. They want to see stability on the management and the football side. I get that. All these things are going to come.”