David Prutton: Leeds United would benefit from an extra physical presence in the side

Ronaldo Vieira.
Ronaldo Vieira.
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LEEDS United’s next opponents Bristol City are absolutely flying.

Leeds have obviously lost three in a row and is that worrying? It’s worrying if it carries on, that’s the best way to contextualise it.

Pierre-Michel Lasogga.

Pierre-Michel Lasogga.

After the start they had you get cautiously optimistic but you can’t get carried away.

While I don’t want to say they have been brought back to Earth with a bump, these last few games have shown that over the course of the season, getting too high and getting too low about anything won’t stand anyone in good stead, especially from a managerial point of view.

But from the outside, Thomas Christiansen doesn’t look like the sort of person who is fretting as he knows it is very much a work in progress.

From what I have seen so far, I think Leeds should be looking at the top six.

Andy Lonergan.

Andy Lonergan.

When you have got the likes of Sheffield United and Preston and perhaps more unknown quantities up there – especially after the good season Leeds had last year – then United have got to look to build on that good work.

I think at times Leeds have perhaps lacked a little bit of presence and a physical edge.

When you look at the midfield, if there is another body in there like Ronaldo Vieira which has been discussed then that maybe gives them an extra outlet but also an extra presence from a physical point of view.

When they are on song then great but on the flip side of it, when you are looking to win games in different ways then it helps you out and lets you get more people in there.

If you look at Pierre-Michel Lasogga as well, then he is always going to be looked at as a ready made replacement for Chris Wood.

But he’s a different player.

Maybe what we have seen is a great reaction to Chris going but then we have perhaps seen the longer term impact that losing Chris does have because he was a big physical player that held the ball up and he has got a sharpness in his game that perhaps Lasogga hasn’t got.

Chris obviously had such a wonderful season last year.

Maybe it’s a sense of getting the best out of being able to utilise Lasogga and getting the best out of him as the players get used to him.

After losing three games in a row it’s a tough one because just as much as you want to keep confidence going when things are going well, you want to be able to nip stuff like this in the bud pretty swiftly as well.

Mentally, is this going to make a big impact? Probably not – because of what we have seen over the course of last season and having only just missed out on the play-offs at the back end of last year.

When you look at the likes of Liam Cooper, Pontus Jansson and the slightly older players like Pablo Hernandez, these are the ones you look to in these instances to get you through.

Christiansen also dropped Felix Wiedwald for Andy Lonergan against Reading but he made a big decision to shelve Robert Green so he is not afraid of making big decisions.

It looks as though he picks on form rather than on reputation which I think is absolutely right.

Lonners is a good goalkeeper who has been around a long time and he has got a lot of experience, especially in English football so maybe there’s a sense of having him in goal steadies the ship a little bit at the back.

It’s a funny one with goalkeepers.

Sometimes the influence of a goalkeeper is a little bit more discreet.

Is Wiedwald vocal enough and does he command his area?

If you look at the Leeds games, did he command his area in the Sheffield Wednesday game? No.

Did Leeds lose the game? Yes.

That’s the way you have got to look at the games and with how tight they can be and in the grand scheme of the season then little things like this need to be addressed.

United's head coach Thomas Christiansen is having to keep his eye on the ball when it comes to injuries ahead of Leeds' trip to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

QPR v Leeds United: Coach Thomas Christiansen gives injured quartet time to recover