'Forget about it' - Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink calls for altered Leeds United approach to secure Premier League football

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FORMER Whites striker Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink believes Leeds United should "forget about style" and be more "business like" in the final push to secure Premier League football.

Leeds finally resumed their Championship promotion bid after the three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic with Sunday's clash at Cardiff City in which Marcelo Bielsa's Whites had 69 per cent of possession and 17 attempts at goal.

Cardiff, though, scored with their only two shots on target as part of a 2-0 victory as Leeds squandered the opportunity to move ten points clear in the division's automatic promotion spots with eight games left.

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United are now second on goal difference behind West Brom but Marcelo Bielsa's men still hold a seven-point cushion over third-placed Fulham who will visit Elland Road for a 3pm kick-off next Saturday.

ALTER IT: Says former Whites striker Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink, above. Picture by Pete Norton/Getty Images.ALTER IT: Says former Whites striker Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink, above. Picture by Pete Norton/Getty Images.
ALTER IT: Says former Whites striker Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink, above. Picture by Pete Norton/Getty Images.

Brentford are only one point further back in fourth and Hasselbaink feels United would benefit from altering their approach and placing less emphasis on style in their bid to take their promotion push over the line and seal a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2004.

"We are at the business end of the league and it's important for Leeds to win four or five games, as it is for others," said Hasselbaink, assessing United following their defeat to Cardiff on Sky Sports.

"But we all know that Leeds is about style. At this moment in time, forget about style.

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"I'm not saying that they have to change their identity but they have to become a little bit more business like.

"Their final pass was just not good enough. They got to the box but then when they were at the box it was a little bit too slow and that was a little bit frustrating.

"Passes that are normally very simple for them, they just didn't go, they went out or they went for a goal kick."

Both of Cardiff's goals came from United mistakes with a stray pass from Kalvin Phillips seized upon by Junior Hoilett who then fired past Illan Meslier for the opener.

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"He's one of their best players, one of their leaders, that normally doesn't make a mistake," said Hasselbaink of Phillips.

"There's still a lot to do for Junior Hoilett, he puts it on his left and he puts it good away.

"I do think that the goalkeeper should do better. Look at the gap at the first post for him, it's a little bit too big.

"If he has one more step to the right he saves it. The ball doesn't go in very close to the post, it goes back a bit further so I would think that the goalkeeper should do better there.

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"Take nothing away from Junior and from Cardiff, the ball was played in to Kalvin Phillips and from there they pressed the mistake and they went three against three and they put it away."

It was then a similar story for Cardiff's second with skipper Liam Cooper's loose pass out of defence leading to Robert Glatzel thumping home a volley from just inside the box.

"It's a loose pass and a well taken goal by the boy by the way," said Hasselbaink.

"But normally Leeds do this 100 times and 100 times it comes off but it tells you that they are not fit yet, mentally. They are not as sharp as Cardiff yet, mentally but also physically.

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"Cardiff deserved to win. They looked further in their fitness than Leeds, way further.

"They looked sharp. Leeds looked a little bit slow at times even though they had more of the ball but Cardiff looked comfortable and it's a big, big three points for Cardiff.

"It will give them massive belief going into their next game, the Preston game. They looked good, they looked in control.

"They started better. They had a spell in the second half just before that break of 20 minutes that they were struggling a bit but after that they looked in control and very impressive."

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