Leeds United: Players are coasting to the end of the season – Whelan

Massimo Cellino.
Massimo Cellino.
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MASSIMO CELLINO has said he will decide about Steve Evans’ future in the summer and that’s better for the chairman than it is for the manager.

Obviously Steve Evans wants to know where his future lies before the end of the season and that will go on results and performances.

As it stands, there have been some very good performances but there have also been some shocking ones and Huddersfield is up there with them.

That result puts the manager in a very difficult position because we can’t afford to have six or seven players not at it on the day. We are not good enough to be able to do that.

It’s the mental toughness that I question about a lot of the players when things aren’t going right and people aren’t playing well. How do you get something out of the game?

At the moment I think we are a little bit soft mentally when it comes to seeing out games and riding a bad period of a game and going a goal behind.

Against Huddersfield, we got off the hook with the penalty, it was a great save by Marco Silvestri and then we got the goal and that should have been it. But then we crept back to those old bad habits, not defending set-pieces properly, not creating chances, looking a little bit scruffy and not really having any game plan.

That comes down to a mental toughness of a player within the team to control that; to tell the lads to get into position and just sit tight for a bit and just ride something out. I just don’t feel that we have got many people in there who can be that leader, who can arrange that on the field.

There’s always going to be players that don’t get on with a manager. That is just the way it is. A manager is always going to prefer some players to others and that’s not just Steve Evans, that’s every manager.

Look at Christian Benteke, not in Jurgen Klopp’s eyes, but in many manager’s eyes he would be the first choice on their team sheet. It just goes to show that not every player gets on with managers. But what players have got to do is they have got an obligation, with their contract, to the fans and to themselves, to go out there and put in a performance.

Whether you like the manager or not, it makes no odds. If you are chosen to play a game, you go out there, you earn your money, you do the fans proud, you do your club proud. At the moment I feel that a lot of people are not playing for that. They are just coasting through until the end of the season when they are getting paid a lot of money here.

And the fans, bless them, they pay a lot of money every single week.

All they want to see is 100 per cent effort from players and giving it a bit of a go, not a mental collapse which is what we are getting at the moment.

We need to see a little bit more fight and a little bit more grit rather than the nice stuff and the passing side of the game. Show us that you care a little bit because I just sometimes don’t see enough of that on the field.

Yes, Steve will be the first one to hold his hands up he’s made a mistake et cetera.

Not all managers get it right.

I think the formation could have been better against Huddersfield. I don’t think we really needed to change it from Blackburn as we know that Huddersfield have a lot of players in that central area in midfield and that’s where you win and lose games.

You have got to dominate that area and I just feel that we never got close to them and there was no intensity to our closing down and getting forward.

Their passing controlled the game from start to finish and that is a philosophy that their manager has brought in and has told his team to play.

For me, I don’t think Steve has done a bad job since he has come in.

There’s going to be a 50-50 divide on what people think but I’m not too sure whether, right now, changing a manager is going to make much difference.

We need better players for a manager to work with and to give us that chance.

Yes, we do have some exceptional players in the side but yes, I don’t think a lot of the players have fulfilled their potential. I don’t think anyone has really hit that mark yet because that’s where we are sitting in the table.

There have been a lot of good performances but not consistently.

We’ve got to focus on what we need to do to prepare for the start of next season and I’m just hoping that there’s going to be some money spent to give Steve, or whichever manager it may be, a chance at the beginning of the season. But I do think it needs to be sorted out.

I don’t think a manager needs to be coming in within a month of the start of the season.

I think the manager needs to know what he’s come to work with and what he can get so he can work with them throughout the whole pre-season.

If you are going to get rid of a manager and don’t want him then give somebody the opportunity to see what they have got right now and to mark out what players he needs in certain areas and who he wants to bring.

It’s very difficult for Steve right now and I do feel for him because it can’t be a nice place to be.

But the players can help that situation by being a little bit more consistent and a little bit more professional on the field and by getting some results; by showing the fans that you deserve to play for this club.