Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook remain with squad…

Midfield duo Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook have remained with the rest of the United squad due to a request from head coach Neil Redfearn.

The pair had been called up to represent England – Cook for the Under-18s and Mowatt for the Under-20s – but Neil Redfearn has asked the duo remain at Thorp Arch to train with their team-mates during the international break.

“We need to look after these young lads,” said the United head coach. “They have both played a lot of football this season and we have to remember that Lewis is only 17-years-old and Alex is 19.

“When it comes to Cookie, he was the only player in the Under-18s squad that has been playing football week-in, week-out in the Championship.

“And when I spoke to Neil Dewsnip (England Under-18s manager) about it he completely understood and I have to thank him for that.

“Alex, who has been in great form over the last few weeks, will join up with the Under-20 squad when they return from Portugal for the experience of being on the international scene.”

The head coach went on to say how important the Academy graduates are going forward for the remainder of the season.

“Both players have been in fine form since I came back into the first team fold,” added Neil. “They have been arguably our best two players.

“In the first half against Blackpool Lewis was brilliant and in my opinion Alex was the best player on the pitch when we played Cardiff and Charlton, and his goals have showed what he is capable of.

“They are both massively important for what I want to do going forward and there is more to come from these lads.”