Leeds United captain Jason Pearce has found his captaincy and place in the side under threat after Leeds’ 4-1 loss to Ipswich Town.
Pearce lost his place to Giuseppe Bellusci who worked well with Liam Cooper to keep a clean sheet against top of the table Derby County in a 2-0 win. Following the match the Italian suffered a hamstring strain and was ruled out of Saturday’s clash at Portman Road.
Pearce returned to the side and was paired with Cooper but Neil Redfearn was unhappy about changing the team: “After the performance and the result we had against Derby, the last thing I wanted to do was change the side but it was enforced.
“In an ideal scenario I’d have kept the same team but you have to accept these things. Jason came in and played his part.”
Despite Redfearn’s disappointment, Pearce performed reasonably well against Ipswich making 13 clearances, five more than any other player and blocked three shots.
Article continues below
The 45-year-old has hinted that Bellusci will return to the side to face Fulham if he is fit: “It was always going to be a couple of weeks or so but hopefully he’ll be available for the Fulham game.
“We’ll have to see how he’s doing this week. It’ll be touch and go.”
Pearce had been ever-present in the Leeds side this season before being dropped against Derby and had inherited the captain’s armband under Dave Hockaday.
For the game against the Rams Stephen Warnock was handed the armband; despite Pearce’s return to the side at Portman Road Warnock retained the captaincy.
Redfearn however dismissed the issue: “Steve skippered a side who played really well last weekend and I didn’t want to make changes if I didn’t have to.
“Jason had been out of the side and he came back in but Steve kept the armband. That was the long and short of it.”
Given the turmoil at Leeds with Redfearn already the third manager this season and Massimo Cellino suspended by the FA, Pearce could become the latest personnel casualty.