Defender enjoying being back in the squad...
Defender Ben Parker is sporting a smile on his face again - as he looks to play his part in a strong Leeds United squad.
Ben was again part of a strong Leeds side which drew 2-2 with Rochdale on Tuesday in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Elland Road.
And the young defender says the succession of 'training ground friendlies' played by the club in recent weeks are vitally important in keeping competition strong.
"It's nice to get another game in because we need to keep ticking over," he said.
"We've had a few of these games, and the ground staff have done brilliant in getting it on.
"The team we put out was strong and might do okay in the Championship. That shows how strong the squad is.
"The players who are in the first team know that we have got a good squad and know that they have to perform because there are players who can come in.
"It's been a fantastic run and it's up to us to keep putting a shift in, keeping competition good, and we have to be ready if anyone gets injured.
"I've not been involved with the first team squad in terms of games, but there's plenty of confidence and a belief that if we play well we can win games.
"You never know what could happen if we have a good Christmas. I think we've proved a few doubters wrong and on any given day we can beat teams."
Having endured a troubled 16 months with injury, Ben has slotted back into the reserve side in recent months and now has a number of games under his belt once again.
"I'm feeling pretty good in myself," he said. "Over the past month I've felt as good as I have done for a long while.
"I've gradually eased my way back into training and matches. I felt strong on Tuesday and I'm getting 90 minutes under my belt now which is good.
"I've played quite a few games and am getting plenty of match practice. I went a long time without a game and at my age you want to be playing games.
"I'm aiming to keep performing and staying healthy. I think I'm getting back to where I want to be."