Sol Bamba admitted that Garry Monk was right to read the riot act after Leeds United’s first home game of the season ended in a 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City and a furious reaction from their head coach.
Bamba refused to argue with Monk’s brutal assessment of a laboured second-half performance at Elland Road and said the need for new signings was evident after Leeds failed to take a single point from their first two league matches.
Birmingham negated United’s first-half dominance to snatch a win through Michael Morrison’s goal 10 minutes into the second period, leading Monk to question the “mentality” of his players during a dressing-room post mortem.
Leeds captain Bamba said: “There were a few words I can’t say. He’s right to be angry and personally as a player we can’t accept that.
“He said it right and he’s absolutely right. There was no desire (in the second half) and the tempo was slow. I missed a couple of easy passes. It was sloppy.
“Talking about myself, I can’t miss a player with a two-yard pass. I think that’s down to concentration because we’ve all got quality. I think we need to be more focused.
“The second half was nowhere near good enough. The tempo of the game was slow and obviously we’re conceding goals again at set pieces which is an Achilles heel. We need to work on that.”
Leeds have shipped seven goals from their first three matches, including a League Cup tie at Fleetwood Town, and Morrison pounced on an easy chance on Saturday after United failed to deal with a cross from Jonathan Grounds.
“Set pieces are all about desire and making sure your man doesn’t score,” Bamba said. “You can play all the systems in the world but if you don’t have the desire to make sure your man doesn’t score, there’s no point. The gaffer has been very specific on that.
“This showed again that we are not with it. But we’re going to make sure we work on that.”
Monk refused to be drawn on transfers at full-time but parts of Saturday’s performance emphasised the need for further additions to his squad.
Leeds have been chasing midfielder Liam Bridcutt all summer and his proposed move from Sunderland took a big step forward last week when he and Sunderland agreed a financial packaged to settle the final year of his £26,000-a-week contract.
Bridcutt and United were unable to finalise personal terms ahead of the weekend, however, and the two sides are working to reach an agreement over Bridcutt’s wage at Elland Road. The midfielder is seeking a minimum three-year deal.
Bamba played alongside Bridcutt while the 27-year-old was on loan at Leeds last season and the centre-back said: “He showed when he came that he’s a good player. He helped us a lot and so if we can bring in players like him then it’s definitely going to help the team.
“But I think we need players everywhere – in defence, up front, midfield, everywhere. If we can bring in players that bring quality then that’s more than welcome.”
Bamba, meanwhile, spoke out in defence of Chris Wood after the striker was jeered from the field when Monk substituted him at the end of an unimpressive outing.
“It’s harsh and we don’t want that,” Bamba said. “I understand that the fans pay so they have a right to make their feelings known but I think we need to be together on this. We need to stick together and something can happen.
“The gaffer has come in with new ideas and it’s going to take time. I know the fans don’t want to hear that but I think we have to be patient.”
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