Leeds United must have more cutting edge going forward '“ Whelan

MATCH Of The Day showed the highlights of Leeds United's FA Cup clash at Watford on Saturday evening but most of the highlights were of Watford, not Leeds United.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 22nd February 2016, 7:42 am
Updated Monday, 22nd February 2016, 7:45 am
Charlie Taylor crosses the ball into the box past Watford's Juan Paredes
Charlie Taylor crosses the ball into the box past Watford's Juan Paredes .

I feel like I am doing a column here that I’ve already done. I feel like it’s Groundhog Day because we didn’t have any sustained pressure on Watford. They created chance after chance and with a better touch it probably could have been three or four for them.

We’re not creating chances, we’re not scoring goals and too many people are playing the game safe and not being brave. But in a cup game, you’ve got to be brave. You’ve got to put pressure on the home side and we didn’t do that.

You can have all the possession in the world, I don’t care what the stats are, if you’re not creating chances and getting bodies in the box then you are not going to win football matches.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

I’m not sure whether this is something that’s coming from the manager, to sit on the edge of the box, but I’m looking out wide and you’ve got three players out wide and not one person in the box. So where are we going to score goals?

Every now and again you might score a 30-yarder but that’s not going to happen every week and the only way to score goals is to be in the box, to be brave, get in the right areas and compete. At the moment, we are not competing.

We are just very easy to play against, that’s the trouble and I just felt the tactics, playing football against a very good footballing side were a little bit wrong. I think you have got to play football at times but we seem to be playing football in the wrong areas. We are putting ourselves under pressure.

The way we went out made me feel disappointed; a wasted opportunity. And I’m pretty sure that people in our team will have been waking up thinking ‘we didn’t really give it a go, we didn’t really put any pressure on them and we didn’t really change the course of that game in any way.’ We didn’t affect it and that’s a problem.

You can pass the ball side to side and I could actually play in that side right now and I could pass a ball side to side and backwards. That’s how I feel because there’s not enough energy going forward, not enough desire to want to score goals and not enough ruthlessness to want to ripple the back of the net and really enjoy scoring a goal and making a difference and winning a game.

We’re sitting back, we just sit there on the edge of the box with three people but not one midfield player getting into the box, or very, very rarely. To me, that’s criminal. You should be saying ‘get yourselves in the box’ whether that means you’ve got to do a 30-yard jog or sprint back or not. Because that’s what you get paid to do. You’ve got to be brave and we’re not brave at the moment. We’re playing scared football.

With Scott Wootton’s own goal, it’s a mistake that could have happened to anybody. It’s one of them where nine times out of 10 the young boy will clear the ball into the stands. Unfortunately, it’s not happened to Scott. He’s tried to do the right thing and Marco Silvestri has come and realised that he can’t get it. If he’d stayed on his line he’d probably have saved it.

There’s bad judgment there by the ’keeper and there’s just a mistake there by Scott unfortunately. He’s gone to clear with his right foot but unfortunately it’s hit his knee and it could have gone anywhere.

But let’s not make any mistake about it; yes, we lost to an own goal but they’d have scored at some stage during that game with the amount of chances they had. If it had stayed 0-0, they’d have put one of the other ones away.

It was just that first touch in the box that they couldn’t get right. They created chance after chance and at every corner they got the first header to it pretty much. I don’t see us attacking balls like they did.

We’re too defence-minded. We’re not attacking enough.

Whether that’s coming from information and instructions from the sidelines and the coaching, I don’t know, but do they do enough phases of play during the week in attacking thirds?

Do they tell their midfield players to get themselves in the box and to fill the right areas?

Are they working on these things because, if they are, I am not seeing the benefits of it.