Leeds United must learn very quickly from dismal defeat – Whelan

Rob Green fails to keep out Tjaronn Chery's penalty.
Rob Green fails to keep out Tjaronn Chery's penalty.
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The 3-0 loss at Queen’s Park Rangers was just one game – but it was also a massive kick up the backside.

There were players out there for whom this was a first experience of Championship football. It was a bit of an eye-opener for them.

They are going to have to get to grips with this league very, very quickly because that performance there was nowhere near close to being good enough to competing even in the top half of the table, let alone the play-offs.

We were two yards off the pace, we weren’t aggressive enough with our closing down, and our tempo wasn’t up to scratch with the ball and getting it forward.

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There was a lot of negativity – playing the ball backwards and sidewards – and that’s because there wasn’t any movement, passing or players available.

When Rangers had the ball, especially in the first half, we were two yards off them.

We were allowing them to turn and get at us and play balls into the strikers.

Midfield players were running off us, we were half-asleep at times off throw-ins and we had no answer to their enthusiasm for the game.

That I hate to say and it shouldn’t be said because you should have the enthusiasm for every single game.

We just didn’t seem at the races and we were miles off the pace.

I don’t think it puts doubts over Garry Monk, I just think the boys have got to come to terms with this.

They have got to use this disappointment, harness it and channel it positively.

Of the positives, I thought Kyle Bartley had a solid performance.

I think generally he was the best out of the back four and I think when Hadi Sacko came on he produced probably some of the best play through the midfield.

But there weren’t too many people shining out there.

Not having one shot for the keeper to save sums everything up.

We just weren’t clever enough.

We didn’t move them around, test them, or make anything difficult and we were very rigid in our formation and movement.

When you play like, that you make things easy for the opposition. We have got another game coming up on Wednesday at Fleetwood Town and what they don’t want to be doing is going there down.

They have got to brush themselves down quickly because you want to start getting that winning feeling.

I felt there was an opportunity at QPR when I looked at the squad and the team to come and get something.

But not when you play like that, especially in the first half.

I think we only had probably maybe 25 minutes out of the 90 where we actually caused them any problems.

But I think the quality in the final third from the wide areas was poor.

The crossing and distribution up to the front men – it seemed to be hoofed in there and there was no idea what was going on.

I don’t think we are nearly there and I have said before that when you pay £2m for players you buy average and I still believe that.

And I still believe you have got to pay £4m to £5m, possibly even £10m to get game-changers and people that are going to make that difference come the end of the season.

Rob Green has been criticised for the first goal but he has had a good career and he has played internationally.

He will be the first to say that his distribution from the deck wasn’t great and maybe he could have done better with the first goal and been a bit stronger instead of trying to punch it. Maybe he should have tipped it over the bar.

But hindsight is a great thing.

He will know what he needs to improve on but let’s not just single the ‘keeper out. There were many poor performances out there and nowhere near good enough for Championship level.

The fans here have Leeds United at heart. They are passionate and maybe they just wanted to see a little bit more passion, energy and aggression.

I didn’t really see too many challenges flying in.

I saw people just dealing with it rather than getting aggressive and wanting to change the game. You want a reaction and I don’t feel like we got the right reaction from the players.

It was more heads down than let’s fight. They are young players and they have got to learn – and quick.