Leicester City defender Zak Whitbread in action to improve fitness
Defender Zak Whitbread will be in action for the Leicester City's development squad when they entertain Crewe Alexandra tonight at the King Power Stadium.
Whitbread will get another run-out as one of the three over-age players allowed in the under-21 league fixture, which is open to the public and kicks off at 7pm.
Manager Nigel Pearson is hoping the American, who made his debut in the 4-2 defeat to Burton, will take another step towards full match fitness and boost his defensive options ahead of their trip to Wolves on September 16
"He will be disappointed with the second goal on Tuesday but I think he did really well in the first-half and tired towards the end," said Pearson. "For him to negotiate that game is good.
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"There is the game on Monday which he will take part in and, by the time the Wolves game comes we will have, hopefully, a very strong squad."
Established as part of the Elite Player Performance Plan, the new under-21 league has been set up to give clubs a competitive platform on which to develop its young professionals.
City have entered the league to give their youngsters more match experience and Pearson said it was vital in their transition from young pros to senior players.
"It is very important because, when you look at players from the academy, some players are ready for the step up to the first-team and need the opportunity and playing in a competitive league gives the younger professionals that extra stepping stone," he said.
"You have to recognise that some players do need that extra step. It is better to play in a competitive league."
Entrance is £3 for adults, £1 for under-18s and free for under-eights.