Leeds United boss Christiansen will look at Wiedwald display

Felix Wiedwald
Felix Wiedwald
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THOMAS CHRISTIANSEN promised to analyse the performance of Felix Wiedwald after a 3-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday but insisted his goalkeeper would not carry individual responsibility for Leeds United’s third loss of the season.

Christiansen plans to look closely at Wiedwald’s influence on a defensively-weak display at Hillsborough yesterday as the club draw breath during the second international break of the season.

Gary Hooper

Gary Hooper

Wiedwald was caught out for the opening goal as Wednesday striker Gary Hooper nipped into score from close range on 25 minutes.

Leeds paid £500,000 to bring Wiedwald in from Werder Bremen in July, identifying him as a keeper whose distribution could contribute to Christiansen’s style of play.

The German replaced Rob Green as United’s first choice despite Green’s consistent form last season.

Green, who played in every one of Leeds’ Championship fixtures during the 2016-17 term, left Leeds shortly before the August transfer deadline, joining Huddersfield Town as United moved to bring Andy Lonergan in from Wolverhampton Wanderers for his second spell at Elland Road.

When we win we all win and when we lose we all lose. I don’t want, especially here, to complain about one of my players.

Leeds boss Thomas Christiansen

Wiedwald kept six successive clean sheets before a 1-0 defeat at Millwall on September 16 but Leeds have shipped nine goals in their last four games, dropping to fifth in the Championship.

Asked if Wiedwald’s performances were inspiring confidence, Christiansen said: “This is something that I want to speak about and analyse but not here.

“When we win we all win and when we lose we all lose. I don’t want, especially here, to complain about one of my players.”

Wiedwald has been a constant in a Leeds defence which changed repeatedly in the first two months of the season.

Pontus Jansson, Liam Cooper and Matthew Pennington have all spent time on the sidelines through injuries or suspensions and a one-match ban for Cooper saw Pennington make his first start in eight weeks at Hillsborough.

Jansson, however, was stretchered from the field after 72 minutes following a collision with Kalvin Phillips.

Christiansen said afterwards that he was yet to be told the nature or the extent of the Sweden international’s injury but the problem could prevent him from linking up with the Swedish squad for their World Cup qualifiers in the next fortnight.

Christiansen said he intended to use the second international break of the season to work on United’s “strength” after a loss at Hillsborough which followed on from comprehensive away defeats at Cardiff City and Millwall last month.

“It’s very important to analyse the situation and look forward to the next game against Reading, making a bit more emphasis on strength,” said United’s head coach.

“I speak about being strong, not soft, but at the same time it’s about living the game, reading what can happen in half-a-second, two seconds, and anticipating situations. Be prepared.

“It’s always the way I lose (that frustrates him). We had a plan and we did it quite well in the first half but when you concede goals like we conceded, you feel a bit impotent.”

Leeds United goalkeeper, Felix Wiedwald.

Phil Hay – Inside Elland Road: Getting the basics right still vital for Leeds United’s Felix Wiedwald