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Leeds United's Neil Warnock weighs up changes for Birmingham’s FA Cup visit
11:16am Friday 4th January 2013 in Sport
KNOCKOUT football could herald a host of changes to the Leeds United side for tomorrow’s FA Cup third round clash with Birmingham City.
Manager Neil Warnock is expected to shuffle his squad having benefited from that approach during the club’s run to the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.
A run of six games in 17 days saw eighth-placed United stabilise their Championship play-off challenge ahead of tomorrow’s Elland Road tie (3pm).
“It will give one or two an opportunity,” said Warnock. “The suspensions are finished now with the risk of those on four bookings and we have had a virus doing the rounds so we’ll have a look at things and decide the best way to go.”
Centre-back Alan Tate is available after the extension of his loan from Swansea, while Warnock hinted that midfielder Rodolph Austin would start.
“Rudy was back to normal against Bolton on New Year’s Day,” he said. “I’d spoken to him on Friday and I think he was lacking in confidence. It meant a lot to him and another game tomorrow for him will get him ready for Barnsley.”
Former loan man Jerome Thomas has returned to parent club West Brom, while Warnock is still in talks with Stoke about a return for Michael Tonge.
Paul Rachubka is back at Leeds after his seven-day loan at Accrington ended.
United have agreed to loan defender Paddy Kisnorbo to Ipswich Town. The 31-year-old Australian international has made only one senior outing this term.
Meanwhile, striker Luciano Becchio’s penalty in the 1-0 win against Bolton at Elland Road took him to tenth in the club’s all-time Football League scorers’ list.
It was the frontman’s 76th League strike for the Whites, putting him one behind Mick Jones.