Noel Whelan: Monk must be given time to solve Leeds United’s defensive woes

Charlie Taylor.
Charlie Taylor.
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YOU’VE got to give Garry Monk time as Leeds United head coach.

That’s the one thing that you have got to have from the club.

The club needs stability, he needs the time there and at the end of the day, when we looked at the team before Saturday’s game it was a strong side which we thought could come to Nottingham Forest and get the three points.

They missed a trick on Saturday because Nottingham Forest were there for the taking.

I didn’t think they were a great team but I didn’t think we put them under enough pressure to be quite honest.

We didn’t create enough chances and, all in all, when you defend poorly like we did on Saturday, you are not going to win any games.

I thought Hadi Sacko and Pablo Hernandez on the wings were the right choices for that sort of game.

Forest have been conceding lots of goals and Hernandez is the sort of person who is a little bit more mobile and a little bit more creative than Alex Mowatt.

But in saying that Mowatt has been looking quite sharp and fit at the beginning of the season.

But I think it was the right choice for that sort of game, to exploit Forest and their weaknesses and their defensive frailties that have been there from the beginning of the season.

But we didn’t really go at them and we were kind of going at them at three quarter pace rather than full pace.

The intensity wasn’t there and the aggression that I saw at Sheffield Wednesday wasn’t the same kind of aggression.

But when you can’t defend corners and set pieces you are going to end up losing football matches and they always say that these will win and lose you football matches.

That’s exactly what it was on Saturday.

I think the defensive side of the game can be coached but it’s down to the players.

It’s about the players’ ability to rise to a challenge and when the game stops and you are setting up, you are man marking.

You are one-on-one in competition and concentration and you have to got be aggressive – you have got to come out winning.

You have got to thrive on that one-on-one challenge.

But at the moment we are coming out miles off what we should be.

We are second best but we have got to be aggressive and there’s an art to defending.

I see them grabbing our shirts and we should have had a penalty with Kyle Bartley.

If we are going to go by the rules and regulations now about shirt pulling, Leeds should have had a penalty but we can’t rely on referees.

We have got to defend more aggressive, more resolute and we have got to enjoy keeping clean sheets and defending that one-on-one.

To be honest, I’m not really sure that Rob Green could have done too much with the goals on Saturday.

The third one that was scored was poor defending once again down that wing with Oliver Burke getting through two players very easily.

Then, just about the only place he could put the ball was between Green’s legs.

It was a very tight angle and he has managed to keep it on the deck and do the right thing but he should never have got to that position in the first place.

With the second goal, Liam Cooper knew straight away when his man got past him exactly what was going to happen and where that ball was going. You could see it on his face before it hit the back of the net.

His hands were on his head, he knew that was his man and it was poor marking.

With the first one, Luke Ayling is ball watching and his body position is all wrong.

He should be side-on so he can see Pajtim Kasami coming in behind him but he has no idea where he was so Kasami has got there first and put the ball in the top corner. It’s about concentration all the time.

But it’s that second phase of play sometimes that is just letting us down because we are ball-watching instead of man-watching and it’s that man that is going to score the goal.

Whether or not Pontus Jansson should come in at centre-back is something that Garry has got to think about between now and the next game.

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