'I don't want them to change' - Warnock defends Leeds despite 'architects of their own downfall' claim

Stephen Warnock has claimed that Leeds United were the “architects of their own downfall” against Tottenham on Saturday, but does not want to see Marcelo Bielsa’s men change their style of play.
Illan Meslier. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)Illan Meslier. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Illan Meslier. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Whites gave away possession in their own defensive third on a number of occasions against Jose Mourinho’s side, and conceded the opener after a misplaced Illan Meslier pass was seized upon in an advanced area.

Ezgjan Alioski was adjudged to have fouled Steven Bergwijn just inside the box shortly after the Frenchman’s error, and Harry Kane stepped up to convert from the resulting penalty.

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But while Warnock has admitted that his former club have often had themselves to blame for conceding needless goals this season, he is also of the opinion that their unique brand of relentless attacking play is worth persevering with.

Speaking on Sky Sports News’ Football Show, he said: “This is a very difficult one. I love watching Leeds play.

"I don’t want them to change because I’d have nothing to talk about!

"They’re so much fun in the way that they play. But we talked about Son and Kane looking tired and fatigued, they were the opposite this week because of the way Leeds played – they set up differently and they pressed high.”

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Focusing in on Meslier’s error, he said: “I don't get why he’s doing it, Meslier.

"It looks like a simple pass into Luke Ayling, but he can actually play and even simpler pass into Stuart Dallas in the right-back position. Then if Dallas is in trouble he either puts it out of play, or he goes long.

"He makes the wrong decision, centre of the pitch, capitalised on.”

The ex-Elland Road full-back added: “They were the architects of their own downfall, Leeds.

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"You don’t want to stop them playing because a lot of the time they get out so well and they do it extremely well.

"I think the game-management just has to be, ‘If it’s not quite working, play 30 or 40 metres further up’.

Play the dinked balls into the wingers, play off Bamford if you can, and then build the confidence from there."