Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic explains Iliman Ndiaye ommision against Reading

Iliman Ndiaye was not omitted from the Sheffield United squad which beat Reading last night because he is in need of a break, manager Slavisa Jokanovic confirmed.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 6:32 am

Rather than travel to the Select Car Leasing Stadium, where Jayden Bogle’s second-half strike proved enough to settle a contest overshadowed by John Fleck’s collapse, Ndiaye took part in United’s Premier League Cup fixture against Peterborough - scoring one of the three goals they scored en route to a draw in Cambridgeshire.

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Asked why Ndiaye had featured for the under-23’s rather than the first team having started last weekend’s Championship stalemate with Coventry City, Jokanovic said: “Firstly, I did not need to give Iliman a rest because he played in this under-23 game. I played Iliman because he did not have enough minutes in the last few games, and because we have also just had an international break on top of that. There is nothing wrong with Iliman. He will be back soon and will be an important part of the squad.”

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Sheffield United's Iliman Ndiaye was with the under 23s in Peterborough yesterday rather than the first team squad at Reading

Ndiaye, aged 21, made his full debut for United earlier this season - scoring twice when Peterborough were brushed aside 6-2 at Bramall Lane in September. He had made 12 appearances since then, but was withdrawn during the interval of Saturday’s contest with City.

“I have a lot of midfielders on the bench and I took the decision to go with different players,” Jokanovic continued, explaining his selections for the trip to Berkshire. “We can not only depend on 11 players though. It is normal for a young player to be in a situation like this, and we know he is important.”

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic has talked about Iliman Ndiaye: Adam Davy/PA Wire.