Leeds United: ‘Unacceptable’ loss tells Cellino that big-money buys are a must – Whelan

Massimo Cellino keeps warm with a QPR blanket wrapped around him. PIC: James Hardisty
Massimo Cellino keeps warm with a QPR blanket wrapped around him. PIC: James Hardisty
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WE had one shot on goal all game at QPR on Saturday and for me that’s unacceptable.

It just looked like we didn’t have any kind of idea of how to create any chances.

Leeds United's Scott Wootton, is shown the yellow card against QPR.

Leeds United's Scott Wootton, is shown the yellow card against QPR.

The one chance we did have was for Chris Wood who rounded the goalkeeper and had done the hard bit. But instead of taking the chance and trusting his left foot, he pulled it back on to his right foot which allowed QPR defenders chasing back to get behind the ball and get in front of goal. It was a wasted opportunity.

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I still believe we have got enough in the team that it won’t be a relegation scrap at the end of the season.

But right now, yes, we are in a relegation battle because that’s where we sit and the table doesn’t lie.

QPR’s goal came from Charlie Austin coming off the bench. From a player’s point of view and as soon as this substitution has taken place, I know that Austin is the most dangerous player on the pitch with his heading and scoring ability.

So I’d be matching him up and putting my best defender on him to mark him at corners and set pieces and for me that should have been Liam Cooper.

Everyone is looking around asking somebody who is marking him and that doesn’t sound like a team that is organised to me and that doesn’t sound like someone’s organising at the back.

If I was the captain and the centre-half, Cooper, I’d have taken responsibility myself and said ‘right, I’m taking him, bring Charlie Taylor back on to Nedum Onuoha on the line and let me deal with him.’ Simple.

In the end, we didn’t put the right people on the right men and the result was a free header for the top scorer, the most dangerous player, who has just come off the bench with his first touch and it’s a goal. That’s unacceptable.

Everyone’s got to take a little bit of responsibility, everyone is in it together and if I was manager I wouldn’t be separating myself from the players.

And for me, Sam Byram has got to be playing. Why is he sitting on the bench? I can only think it’s a contract dispute because it’s not about his ability because he’s the best right-back at the club. I’ve heard Steve Evans talking about Byram’s performances being under par, well he’s not had chance!

The one time he did put him in the side against Fulham he had an absolute stormer and even on a half-bad day he’s still the best right-back at the club.

It just seems ridiculous that he is out when he should be out there making a difference. I know Massimo Cellino turned up at the game and who knows what he is going to do next?

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know what he’s going to do from one day to the next. But now he knows that the team he has got is not performing. He’s seen that the team he has taken on needs more help, needs more money, needs better players.

If you’re not going to do that then please, walk away, and let somebody take over the club that is going to spend £4m, £5m, £6m on players. Because that’s what we need.

To get the best out of your Mowatts, your Cooks and your Taylors then you need to spend £5m on a player. You may even need to spend £6m on a player to get these quality players in that are going to make a difference to this side and give us a real chance and a real hope of making the Premiership again. But he (Cellino) has not put his money where his mouth is and he’s not delivering what we want for this football club.

I think we need a very prolific striker and if you are talking about a 20-goal a season player – and we may need two of them – you are talking the £5m mark.

In midfield, we need a general, we need a commander and we need a very strong, no nonsense centre-half who is going to dictate the game, who is going to be aggressive and who is not going to play the way Giuseppe Bellusci played on Saturday – trying to half-volley balls out.

His distribution was shocking and he was getting beaten for pace. Cooper had a very solid game and he was the best out of the two centre-halves by a stretch but he needs help and he needs someone next to him that is going to be just as consistent. Liam Bridcutt had his first game for us and it was an okay debut. I wouldn’t have said he was spectacular but I thought everybody was very average at best.

Chris Wood scoresa late in the first half to make reduce the deficit to 3-1 at home to Norwich last season. Picture: Varley.

Haven’t we met before? Previous Elland Road meetings between Leeds United and Norwich City