Not much time for patience as Leeds United need to stay ahead of the curve - David Prutton

Leeds need a win in today’s clash against Watford at Elland Road and what we have seen so far is the reality and the brutality of what the Premier League is.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 4:45 am

We got to that first international break in September and I said it was so far so good.

But they were still trying and looking for that first win to try and get the season kick-started.

Leeds are a team that has had early defeats to deal with and also injuries to deal with.

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SOLID START: For 19-year-old Leeds United defender Charlie Cresswell, winning header second from right, in last weekend's 2-1 defeat at home to West Ham. Will he keep his place against Watford? Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

Now they are coming up against a Watford side that sit almost firmly in mid-table with Leeds just under the dotted line.

It’s still very early days after just six games played but this absolutely has to be a game that they are looking to get three points from.

I think you can even say must win for games such as this because getting ahead of the curve with regards to points per game ratio in the Premier League is paramount really.

You can look at all the good work that Leeds went through last season but they managed to find themselves in a position come the end of the season where they could really enjoy it.

They enjoyed the whole season of being back but there was no last day drama and no jeopardy with regards to their status at all.

That was a job well done and they don’t want to follow that up with a season where they are constantly chasing the points to make sure that they are good and secure come the end of the season.

They want to get ahead on that particular curve.

Watford drew with Newcastle last weekend and then lost to Stoke in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

They have beaten Norwich but lost to Wolves and Spurs but beaten Aston Villa.

There have been games and results in there from which they will want to do better but they sit in 12th and it will be a hard game for Leeds.

What they can count on is the home crowd and I have got friends going who are very much looking forward to tasting it, seeing it and smelling it in person for the first time in a long time.

It’s a Leeds team that definitely does need to start putting maximum point returns on the board.

Watford’s Ismaila Sarr has been nominated for the September Premier League player of the month award and he is fantastic.

I had great pleasure in covering him last year in the Championship.

There were then discussions over whether they could keep him and there were certainly some big bids being thrown his way to try and prize him away.

On his day, he can cause Leeds a hell of a lot of problems and you have also got Josh King leading the line.

They have a front five if you like of Sarr, King, Sissoko, Dennis and Kucka and there is definitely a lot in there to be wary of from Leeds’ point of view.

Centre back Pascal Struijk and Diego Llorente are both back for Leeds which raises the issue of what happens with Charlie Cresswell after his debut against West Ham.

That was a very tough game featuring a lot of debatable points but Charlie made a solid start with regards to what you want from a younger player and how you are looking for him to settle in when injuries are marring the availability of the squad.

There was nothing you can look back on as a bit of a rick.

There is now debate over whether Cresswell should still start, even with Llorente and Struijk back available, and there are also calls for young Joe Gelhardt to be given a go up front.

From the noises that you are hearing about Gelhardt and the way that Marcelo talks about him, he is clearly a very valued member of the squad. He’s a young player – but so is Charlie.

Tyler Roberts came on instead against West Ham and Roberts is not Patrick Bamford but at the start of Bamford’s time at Leeds he wasn’t the player that he is now.

But there isn’t that luxury of having too much time.

I know that Marcelo does invest time and energy and patience into players but before you know it we will be heading into Christmas and you don’t want to be thinking ‘we really do need to be picking up points now.’

There is definitely an element of that.

It’s still a good selection dilemma for Marcelo to have, youth versus more experienced players.

But I think it’s imperative they get Bamford back as soon as possible and that the wider, more creative players start hitting their straps.

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Thank you Laura Collins