Leeds United’s loaned out trio of Noel Hunt, Nicky Ajose and Scott Wootton all impressed on their debuts for their new sides, despite having been subject to fierce criticism by fans of Leeds in recent months.
Hunt, who has been the target of more criticism than most, had a telling impact on Ipswich’s game with Charlton Athletic.
The Irish international began the game on the bench for Mick McCarthy’s side, but was brought on with the scores locked at 0-0.
Hunt repaid McCarthy’s faith almost immediately, bagging a 95th minute winner for the Tractor Boys that sent them second in the Championship, well above Leeds.
This was his first competitive goal since signing for Leeds last summer.
Ajose, meanwhile, did not score, but did provide an assist for Uche Ikpeazu on his debut for Crewe.
Crewe boss Steve Davis praised Ajose’s partnership with Ikpeazu after the game.
Wootton was praised on Twitter for his less spectacular but still important display, as Rotherham drew 1-1 with Championship side Blackpool.
It remains to be seen if any of the trio can make an impact at Leeds upon their returns in January.
Noel Hunt has denied the fact that he earns £15,000 a week from Leeds United, telling fans that he wishes he earned that much on Twitter.
Hunt has become a figure of derision, primarily due to the fact that he has not yet scored while playing for the Elland Road club since joining them from Reading last summer.
An interview with Massimo Cellino on internet based radio station White Leeds Radio suggested that one of Brian McDermott’s signings from Reading was earning a significant sum weekly. Fans immediately jumped on Hunt as the recipient of those wages, given his route to Elland Road.
It seems, however, that their beliefs were misplaced, assuming that Hunt is correctly informing the fans.
Hunt was one of several players that many expected to depart during the summer transfer window, but Massimo Cellino hinted that he saw him as a key player going forward at the start of the summer, and no moves were ever made.
Leeds United manager Dave Hockaday has today confirmed that young prospect Lewis Walters has been confirmed as out for an extensive period of time, as reported from his press conference by Thom Kirwin of LUTV.
Walters suffered his injury during Leeds’s pre-season clash with Mansfield Town, having to leave the field of play during the first half of the game. Walters, a graduate of the club’s academy, picked up the injury after getting his studs caught in the turf. Leeds went on to lose the game 2-0 to the League Two side.
His knee injury is significant, and necessitates a trip to see a specialist as a result.
Elsewhere, Noel Hunt has a hamstring injury that will rule him out for the remainder of pre-season, with the tie against Millwall the earliest opportunity for his return.
Leeds travel to Chesterfield at the weekend, and Hockaday has also said that the side that he selects on the day will represent his strongest eleven, as he perceives it. The manager is under some pressure after a pair of questionable displays in Leeds’s two domestic pre-season friendlies thus far.