Ben Parker targets first-team games at Carlisle United

Ben Parker (left) tussles with then Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri during last season's FA Cup
Ben Parker (left) tussles with Arsenal's Samir Nasri during last season's FA Cup

Leeds United defender Ben Parker has said his loan move to Carlisle United was influenced by a need to play first-team football.

The 24-year-old has undergone seven operations in the last two seasons at Elland Road, and missed 18 months of football through a string of injuries.

"I haven't played many games, but I've finally got myself fit," Parker told BBC Radio Cumbria.

"Basically I need to come out and play some games."

He added: "I known the manager [Greg Abbott] for a few years now, from when he was at Leeds.

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Abbott relationship key for Parker

"I'm grateful for the opportnity to come and play some games and hopefully take the team forward."

Parker, whose only first-team outing for his parent club this season came in a 3-2 home win against Bradford back in August, was given the all-clear from his injuries in pre-season.

However with Leeds currently pushing for a play-off spot, the Pontefract-born full-back has found opportunities limited.

"I've been rebuilt, I'm the bionic man now," he added.

"But thankfully I've got to the bottom of the problems, I feel fit, I feel fresh and I'm raring to go.

"I've spoken to Simon Grayson and he wants to see me get some first team action.

"It would have been a massive risk for him to put me in at Leeds, which is why I've come out on loan.

"It suits everybody really, but I've come here to do the best for myself and for Carlisle."

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