LIAM BRIDCUTT showed just why Leeds United brought him in with his performance in the Hull City game last weekend – and he’s one of those players you should always be able to rely on at this level.
Leeds have got a proven Championship operator who knows the league there. If you have a few of those in your side, then you certainly have a better chance in the Championship.
When you bring in those who don’t know the league, you are on a wing and a prayer for me.
No disrespect to Bridcutt, but I don’t think you will see him charging into the box and scoring goals much. But he is there to do a job in midfield and is a bit of an older head.
Leeds have some big games coming up against teams around them. For me, they have to get something from Charlton. That’s massive and then there’s the likes of Wolves, Preston and Forest. Bridcutt will be an important player for sure.
Leeds will probably know where they are going to really be in the league after these four games and Steve Evans should know a lot more about his squad ahead of January, when it often all happens.
Leeds fielded a pragmatic line-up with two defensive midfielders in Bridcutt and Tom Adeyemi against Hull and Steve probably feels he has to do that as he knows he needs to get results to get up that league.
If it means you need to be more defensively set up, you have got to do that and it worked against Hull. Especially away from home, you have to do that.
When I was a manager and when my sides went away, I basically told my full-backs not to go past the opponents’ wingers and to support play from behind.
Looking at the table, Leeds aren’t in a dogfight or anything. But it’s one of those situations where they need to get a few results just to pull away a bit and they currently have a six-point buffer. But they need a bit more than that.
To be fair, Leeds produced a great performance to beat Hull, having also beaten top-six sides Derby and Cardiff earlier this season. It must be frustrating for Steve that the side is capable of beating some of the top sides, but not yet showing the consistency levels you need.
We know Leeds can do it on their day. But at the moment, they haven’t got that consistency and are still searching for it. You still think: ‘How are they going to do next week and the week after that?’
In fairness, when you have a number of young players in your squad, which Leeds have, getting consistency can be difficult. Not because they aren’t good enough – they are. But ideally, Leeds would blood them a little bit easier by giving them a few games and then maybe bringing them out for a week or two. But they are having to sink or swim each week – although for the majority of the time, they are swimming.
Looking forward to January, I do think Leeds need a striker. Whether Steve is able to do that with the finances, I don’t know. Maybe the club will after they have collected all this “pie tax”. There might be plenty of money then!
Much has been said about Chris Wood’s goal record and it was good to obviously see him score from open play against Hull. But I am not certain whether just scoring goals is his main job. His main one for me is being the guy up front who takes all the knocks as well as chipping in with a few goals. Someone to work off him just behind in that ‘number 10’ role would help, for me.
As for the FA Cup draw with Rotherham, it’s probably a tie that both managers didn’t really want.
The feeling would have been mutual and they would have both liked to have left it until later in the season.
Although for Leeds, it will at least give a chance for a spot of revenge after the recent league loss at Elland Road.
It could have been a better tie, although it is obviously a winnable one – for both sides. One thing is for sure, both sides and managers will know a fair bit about each other and both will be prepared for it.
When you get a lower-division side, sometimes you never know what you are getting other than facing a side which is going to run, run and run. At least, the clubs know each other.