AFTER seeing Leeds United fall to a second league defeat of the season, the YEP's Lee Sobot has the Final Word on Saturday's 2-1 loss at Blackburn Rovers and looks at a few key talking points.
United's recent form
Marcelo Bielsa admitted Leeds had been left in a "low and bad moment" by Saturday's defeat with the head coach admitting United needed to win at Blackburn to avoid a "a negative cycle" of results.
As it was, the staggering statistic of defeat for six of the division's top seven over the course of the weekend meant United stayed fourth and just two points off top even in light of Saturday's reverse.
Yet after taking 12 points from an opening possible 15, Leeds have now amassed just ten points from a subsequent possible 24 and the Whites are 14th in the Championship form table taken over the last ten games which would be led by West Brom and Norwich on 17 points each.
Back-to-back home games against Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest this coming week provide Leeds with the chance to improve their tally and it could be that six points in the next two games put United back into the division's automatic promotion places or even top.
On the flip side, two defeats would almost certainly jettison United out of the play-offs in a packed division with only five points between fifth and 18th.
The current "low, bad moment" would soon be forgotten with two quickfire victories and it will be after the next two games that a clearer picture will be gained on how United are going and what is needed in January.
For now, the concession of two very similar goals from corners against Blackburn is definitely a concern and work looks to be needed on what is happening with the marking there.
Kemar Roofe or Tyler Roberts upfront?
United's Championship player of the month for August finally returned from a calf injury at Ewood Park and it always looked likely that Bielsa would put Kemar Roofe straight back into the side.
Roofe did indeed line up from the off yet Bielsa caused something of a surprise by electing to field the 25-year-old on the right wing with the emerging Tyler Roberts keeping his place in the lone striker role though the duo did then swap positions throughout the contest.
Neither had particularly good games with Roofe taken off for the returning Pablo Hernandez with 20 minutes left and with Roofe now back fit Bielsa has a decision to make on who should lead the Whites line.
Roberts performed with great credit in the lone striker role in the absence of both Roofe and Patrick Bamford through injury but Roofe was in imperious form in the position throughout August in which he was picked out as the Championship's best player.
Perhaps a return to the no 9 role is best with Bielsa also now having another option out wide given the return to fitness of Hernandez who surely has to start in Wednesday night's hosting of Ipswich Town if now fully fit.
Leeds have definitely missed him.
United's full backs and potential changes
A modest Bielsa again took his portion of blame in light of Saturday's setback, insisting he started with Stuart Dallas and Gaetano Berardi the wrong way round at right back and left back respectively with Jamie Shackleton and Tom Pearce on the bench.
Dallas and Berardi were soon swapped but there are other options for Bielsa to consider at full-back, even with Barry Douglas missing with his hamstring injury.
Douglas is set to return to full training this week and the Scot was hugely missed at left back but Pearce and even Gjanni Alioski are other potential options for Bielsa in the position ahead of Wednesday night's clash at Elland Road for which right back Ayling will return from suspension and surely slot straight back into the side.
If Douglas is still out, that would likely mean one of Dallas, Berardi, Pearce or Alioski at left back and it will be interesting to see what Bielsa opts for with Alioski having looked pretty good dropped back into the position in the latter stages against Blackburn and Brentford.
In regards to other positions, United's recent sliding form has also raised calls in some areas for Adam Forshaw to be introduced into the centre midfield but both Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich had steady enough games at Blackburn and it would be a surprise if changes were made there.
It is also hoped that a very much in-form Pontus Jansson is back for the Wednesday night clash at Ipswich to resume his place at centre back alongside captain Liam Cooper with Jansson's wife still awaiting the birth of the couple's first child.
Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman, meanwhile, continues to wait for a chance in nets but neither of Blackburn's goals were the fault of Bailey Peacock-Farrell who made some strong saves to ensure that Rovers did not add further to their tally.
Frustration for Samu Saiz
Saiz was responsible for the superb pass that carved open Blackburn's defence in first-half stoppage time, allowing Berardi the opportunity to square the ball to Klich for a tap in to complete a superb passing move.
But the Spaniard otherwise otherwise endured a very frustrating afternoon, seeing plenty of the ball but more often than not picking the wrong option as the offensive movements that Bielsa said he was pleased with led to nothing bar Klich's leveller.
Saiz's skill, trickery and brilliance cannot be doubted but Leeds definitely need to make more of their forays forwards and it was a surprise that Lewis Baker was not called for from the bench at Blackburn.
Is it time to start Jack Clarke?
Bielsa has taken a patient and considered approach with United's Academy stars but 17-year-old Clarke has now had 34 minutes off the bench as a late second half substitute against both Brentford and Blackburn.
On both occasions, Clarke has added a real impetus and injection of skill, flair and pace on to the left wing with the teen looking an exciting talent who can skip by his men at ease.
Turning 18 next month, Clarke obviously has all the time in the world to develop but even so this must be the closest he has been to starting, especially with the option to put Alioski back from left wing to left back though the suspicion is that Clarke will remain an option from the bench, at least for the time being - and a hugely exciting one at that.
It should also be remembered that fellow 17-year-old and striker Ryan Edmondson is also waiting in the wings and also pushing hard having netted a hat-trick for United's under-23s.
Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown has also revealed that he is now "not long" away from making a long-awaited return from injury to give Bielsa another option in attack.