Ex-Leeds United defender pinpoints major reason for £10m-man's 'poor' form under Daniel Farke

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Joel Piroe struggled to make an impact against QPR as Leeds United lost 4-0

Joel Piroe's struggle for consistent game time in a Leeds United shirt is to blame for the lack of confidence he showed against QPR. That's the belief of former White, turned BBC Radio Leeds pundit, Jon Newsome after watching the Dutchman struggle to get a foothold in the contest at Loftus Road.

With Patrick Bamford missing the clash due to injury, Piroe returned to the Whites’ starting line-up on Friday night in what was a must win game for Daniel Farke's side. The 24-year-old more than underwhelmed in the contest, though, and despite lasting the full 90 minutes, he couldn't impact the game in a positive way.

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As such, Piroe was one of several who came in for criticism after the game, with the result leaving the door open for Ipswich, who have two games in hand at the time of writing, to knock the Whites out of the top two either on Saturday night against Hull City or on Tuesday at Coventry City.

Newsome, though, points to the lack of game time the striker, who joined the Whites for £10m last summer, has had since the turn of the year, with all but four of his appearances in that time coming off the bench prior to Friday's outing. He's scored three league goals this calendar year but his impact has largely been limited and Newsome puts that down to his standing within the squad.

"Yeah, listen, he was poor today," Newsome said after the loss in west London. "What can I say really? He was poor, he was poor. He is obviously lacking in confidence, he has been in and out of the side.

"When you are dropped, you are not playing, your confidence takes a dip, but I don’t think it was just Piroe tonight. I think there were a number of others out there."

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Keep up-to date with all the latest Leeds United headlines, with the free Yorkshire Evening News - Leeds United newsletter. Piroe started the season so well for Leeds after making the switch from Swansea City in the final weeks of the window. A goal on his debut at Ipswich Town was followed by a brace at Millwall two games later.

In fact, by the start of December, Piroe had bagged eight goals for the Whites and was competing with his countryman Crysencio Summerville to be the club's top scorer. But, over the festive period Farke made the decision to make Patrick Bamford Leeds' lead man up front and drop Piroe to the bench.

It remains to be seen if Bamford will be fit enough to take on Southampton on the final day of the campaign, but if there's something to play for, Farke will be looking for an improved performance from at least one of his strikers.

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