FORMER WHITES midfielder David Prutton believes head coach Thomas Christiansen can still work the oracle at Leeds United, declaring: “we saw enough promise from Thomas in those opening weeks.”
United led the Championship early into Christianen’s tenure with an unbeaten start of five victories and two draws placing Leeds top ahead of September’s trip to Millwall. But ahead of Saturday’s trip to 15th-placed Brentford, a return of just six points from United’s subsequent eight league games has led to the Whites sliding down the table to seventh with Leeds having lost five of their last six.
Christiansen has already received the support of chairman Andrea Radrizzani, who reacted to Tuesday night’s 2-1 loss at home to Derby County by insisting that it was “time to support even more” with the Italian intent on “building a solid project” at Leeds.
Christiansen himself admitted in the aftermath of Tuesday’s loss to the Rams that the current run of form is not good enough, stressing “we can’t go on like this” with the Dane labelling Saturday’s trip to Griffin Park as a must-win game. But former Whites midfielder and Sky Sports pundit Prutton believes that Christiansen can get Leeds back on track and is warning that replacing the Dane could leave United “back to square one”.
Prutton told the YEP: “For Thomas this is a huge test now – who he is, where he is from? This is when the questions come about. When he first came in, everybody said ‘well show us this then’ and he showed us.
“But then you go into this dip in form and these results and then it comes to do you stand by him because of what you have seen so far or is it dealt with in the manner that football clubs deal with managers seemingly nowadays which is very, very impatiently and very, very quick to upset the apple cart? But then would that put Leeds straight back to square one?
“I just think we saw enough promise from Thomas in those opening weeks of the season to show that he can have a positive effect on the club and the squad.
“This portion of it will be uncomfortable but that’s what being a manager is like and you’ve got to take the plaudits with the brickbats.”
Leeds appeared on course to give their sliding form a much-needed shot in the arm when Pierre-Michel Lasogga fired the Whites into a seventh-minute lead against Tuesday night’s visitors, Derby.
But Sam Winnall equalised with 18 minutes remaining and the on loan Sheffield Wednesday striker then converted a hotly disputed 80th-minute penalty to give his side all three points.
Radrizzani took to social media afterwards, writing on his Twitter page: “I hear all your disappointment for the negative results but tonight I feel proud to be @LUFC we played well and deserved much more.
“You can all watch the footage and make your judgement. It’s time to support even more. We are building a solid project I believe in my team.”
Prutton agrees that United need to be patient, but warned: “After getting so close last year, this season can’t be another one of treading water.
“It can’t be another one where they are looking for the players that could get Leeds somewhere instead of adding players that are getting Leeds somewhere.”