Neil Redfearn admitted that Leeds United’s starting line-up was in need a big injection of quality this summer after Cardiff City extended their long spell of dominance over the Elland Road club.
United’s head coach said Leeds would require the addition of “four or five players” to their first team to have a serious chance of challenging in the Championship in the wake of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Cardiff.
A second-half goal from Aron Gunnarsson inflicted Leeds’ 18th league defeat of the season and extended Cardiff’s unbeaten streak against United, a run which now stretches back 17 matches to 1984.
The Icelandic midfielder settled a flat contest on 62 minutes after City defender Sean Morrison and 19-year-old United midfielder Kalvin Phillips had traded goals in the first half.
Saturday’s match at Elland Road was played out in front of virtually no away supporters after Cardiff’s fans boycotted the fixture in a row over travel restrictions but Leeds were unable to placate a frustrated home crowd.
The final whistle was met with booing from the stands and Redfearn conceded that the performance had highlighted the importance of fresh arrivals in the summer.
“Someone was saying we need four or five players,” Redfearn said. “I think we need four or five players for the first XI, to compete and make us better.
“I know I bang on about Championship experience but perhaps you’ve seen that here first hand. We didn’t have that Championship experience to tough the game out. Games like this you need to be winning. With the right sort of Championship experience in there, you get results in these games.”
Leeds, who play automatic promotion candidates Norwich City at home tomorrow, made 15 new signings last summer but were constrained by a Financial Fair Play (FFP) transfer embargo during the recent the January window.
Club chairman Andrew Umbers told the YEP that United’s embargo would definitely be lifted after the end of this term, freeing Leeds from any transfer restrictions during the close season.
Redfearn have relied heavily on academy products this season and he laid the blame for Saturday’s tepid defeat at the feet of the club’s “senior” players.
The 49-year-old, who is not certain to remain as head coach beyond this term, pulled no punches after Leeds suffered a third successive loss and dropped to 15th in the table.
“It was a poor performance,” he said. “That’s not acceptable.”