Carson faces contract dilemma after Leeds axe

JOSH Carson won’t rush into signing a new three-year contract after being dropped for last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Leeds.

There was surprise all-round when there was no place for the 18-year-old winger – not even on the bench – for the game at Elland Road, just seven days after his spirited performance during the 2-2 home draw with Blackpool.

Indeed, Blues boss Paul Jewell himself admitted that any of his players could count themselves ‘unlucky’ to not start the next match.

So when Daryl Murphy replaced Carson on the left-wing as the only team change, many assumed that the Northern Irish youngster had suffered a set-back to the tight hamstring which had seen him taken off in the 71st minute of the Blackpool draw as a preventative measure.

However, the EADT and Star understands that Carson was fully fit and left flummoxed at the decision to leave him out.

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And having been close to putting pen-to-paper on a new three-year deal, the teenager – whose current deal runs out in the summer – may now delay the decision a little longer.

Jewell had some harsh words for Carson last summer, claiming the teenager had returned ‘not in as good a shape as he should have been’ following pre-season, adding that the youngster still had much to prove after bursting onto the scene under previous boss Roy Keane.

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Restricted largely to substitute cameos in the first half of the season, Carson’s future at the club was beginning to look increasingly unsure. However, Jewell’s sudden change in policy in the New Year – admitting he would be putting more focus on younger players – saw the wideman offered a fresh three-year deal.

Speaking last Thursday, Jewell said: “Hopefully we can get that tied up in the next week or so. Josh is 18/19 and getting better.”

That, however, may not be as cut and dried as first thought.

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