Leeds United: Flat display can’t be blamed on ‘average’ official – Gray

Rudolph Austin.
Rudolph Austin.
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I don’t think Leeds were unlucky to lose to Brentford on Saturday.

I thought we should have had a penalty kick in the first half and I thought the referee was very average. But most of the major decisions he got right.

Neil Redfearn also thought we should have had a penalty in the second half but I didn’t think that was a penalty kick and that’s just opinions. But I thought we were second best in the game and Brentford deserved to win.

There was a bit of a handball in the build up to their goal but whether it was deliberate or not I don’t know. And I don’t think the referee’s performance warranted us to think we should have got something out of the game.

Brentford had four or five great chances and their goalkeeper didn’t have a save to make hardly. Billy Sharp had a decent chance for us but that was about our only good chance really and there was a bit of a scramble at the end when the ball was ricocheting about the goal and we were a bit unfortunate there.

But if Brentford had gone back down the motorway not having picked three points up they’d have been very disappointed given how they played. Our goalkeeper was man of the match and I think that tells you everything.

It was disappointing after how we’ve been playing and I was saying to Neil after the game that as the expectation level rises, you’ve got to perform.

The expectation level was quite high on Saturday and I think most people thought we would win the game – I did. But it’s when that expectation level rises that you’ve got to go out and perform and I don’t think we really did.

The backbone of the team in recent weeks has been the midfield players and I don’t think they performed.

In terms of the team selection and formation, I think it was a difficult one for Neil because Billy Sharp came on at Huddersfield and scored the goal and Neil is going to think he’s buoyant.

But playing the two up front never worked for us and we never really created much for the strikers. In saying that, strikers have got to score goals and, at times, even when they are not getting a lot of service, they’ve got to produce it on their own.

Brentford are one of the better teams in the league and we’re not at that level yet I don’t think.

It’s a progress for us just now. We have improved and we’ve got to keep trying to improve but when you are playing against the better sides there’s going to be games where you are going to be up against it.

It was just disappointing for us because that expectation level was there but the team have been doing well recently and I don’t think we’ll see many changes on Tuesday night at Reading.

But Alex Mowatt might come back in the side. He left Alex out on Saturday but the thing about Alex is that he gives you that balance on that left side because he’s a left-sided player.

I don’t think the boy has been playing at his best in the last few games but he still gives you that balance on the left side in the shape of the side.

I would think he’s a lot better playing central as well but he’s a naturally left sided player.

Rodolph Austin was trying to play on the left on Saturday but I don’t think it suits him to play left side. I think he’s better running all over the shop – through the middle of the park, left side, right side. I don’t think it suits Rodolph when he is tied down to a specific position.

And I don’t think Adryan should come back in, not from what I’ve seen. He’s done okay when he’s played but Neil watches him in training all the time and if he doesn’t think he’s ready then he doesn’t play him.

And where would you play him?

It’s a tough game tomorrow night at Reading who had a good victory at Wolves on Saturday but in this league you can go and win the game.

If we’d have won the game on Saturday we’d have been in a healthy position in the league. Now we’re still looking over shoulders and that’s still putting us under a little bit of pressure. But I don’t think we are in any trouble as the teams below us are not getting results. I think we’re okay but up until you are actually clear of these teams and out of the way, there’s still a little bit of a concern.