Young defender Billy Sass-Davies put the disappointment of being wronged at Hartlepool United in the first round of the Carabao Cup behind him with an assured performance at Elland Road.
The centre-half was harshly sent-off at Victoria Park for a professional foul after just 12 minutes, but the officials didn’t award the first foul against him as he tussled for possession with Tyler Burey.
It was a missed opportunity for Sass-Davies to possibly stake a claim for a more regular run in David Artell’s first-team but he has quickly put that career low behind him with a mature display against Leeds.
Crewe may have ended up losing the tie 3-0 in the later stages but we defended resolutely throughout until possible tiredness and Leeds’ obvious quality shone through with those three goals in the last 13 minutes.
Artell said of the club’s Wales Under-21 defender: “Billy didn’t deserve to be sent off at Hartlepool. The officials missed a foul on him first and everyone was in agreement afterwards that it was the wrong decision on the night.
“It was a missed opportunity for him on the back of a bad decision but he has put it quickly behind him. He looked really assured at Elland Road.
“I said to him and his agent (Dave Brammer) in the summer that I will stick with him. As long as he is improving and trying then I will stick him.
“He is going away with the Wales Under-21s soon and I spoke to Paul Bodin on the way down to Oxfrod about him and told Paul that I am still trying to make him angry. Billy is a gentle giant. He is the smallest of his brothers because they are massive but he is massive for us and when I say I want him to get angry, I don’t mean in the sense of losing your rag.
“I want Bill to have that real desire not to get beat and for his man not to score. I want him to have that fire in him and it is in there somewhere because he showed it against Premier League players.
He added: “We need him to do that on a regular basis and if he can then he has a great chance. He is 6’4”, he can move and has technical ability.“