Leeds United: Whites need ruthless fox in the box to turn possession into points – Whelan

Chris Wood.
Chris Wood.
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LEEDS United’s first 45 minutes at Hillsborough on Saturday was a decent performance.

Once again I thought we had more possession in the first half, I thought we looked confident, we were getting ourselves in good areas and we were putting some great balls into the box.

We created some very good chances and you could see that Lewis Cook was getting into a more forward position. He was playing higher up the field and supporting Souleymane Doukara and, in that role, he did it very well.

But I just feel that when you create those sorts of chances, you have got to put them away.

And once again we weren’t ruthless enough in front of goal in the first 45 minutes.

If we’d got the first goal, it possibly could have been a different story on the day.

We definitely need a goalscorer.

We’ve got Chris Wood to come back, but is he prolific, is he a natural goalscorer? I’m not too sure. He’s not proved that to me so far.

We know that in the past when he has been at other clubs he can get into double figures and he can be a difference on the day, but I do think we need a striker that is hungry, that’s ruthless in front of goal and somebody that is a sniffer in the box.

We don’t have that, somebody that just seems to be in the right place at the right time, anticipating when the ball is coming in – and they are hard to come by.

You have really got to search for those kind of players and if you can’t find them in the lower leagues then you have got to pay big money for them.

But at the moment that is the difference.

We are creating the chances at the moment – on Saturday at least anyway – but normally we do struggle to create chances and we need somebody that can create something out of nothing as well.

We need that midfield player that has got that little bit of brilliance and that difference in a game where they can just produce something out of nothing.

We don’t seem to have that, we seem to be lacking and it wasn’t just on Saturday in the second half.

This has been happening throughout the season pretty much.

In terms of the disallowed goal, it’s always difficult refereeing derby games.

It’s never easy and there’s a lot at stake in derby games, not just bragging rights but it’s a game where Sheffield Wednesday were looking to get into the play-offs and Leeds United were looking to close the gap. There were a lot of tackles that he let go but there was that one crucial decision which was just an absolute shambles.

He must have known that the substitution hadn’t taken place and I’m convinced he had a look, because I have seen the replay.

He’s allowed play to go on, he’s blown the whistle and nobody in the Sheffield Wednesday side was standing there not looking to defend.

They were all on their toes, they all played the game the way it should be when the referee blew the whistle which didn’t show any kind of ‘this isn’t right’.

Usually you would have people standing still and not challenging but they all defended the way they should be.

A goal was given, the referee pointed to the spot, he’s given a goal but all of a sudden the fourth official and the Sheffield Wednesday players kick up a fuss because they have scored the goal and the referee is not brave enough to stick by his decision.

There’s a lot of cases for ‘yes, it should have stood’ and a lot of cases for no it shouldn’t but at the end of the day, that decision becomes the referee’s.

It comes down to him, he is refereeing the game, he’ll see it how it is and he’s got to be strong enough to say ‘it’s my mistake, I allowed it to go on, it’s a goal.’

Jermaine Beckford made his Leeds United debut on March 21 2006.

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