Eddie Gray believes a three-man midfield and the recall of Ronaldo Vieira is needed to help Leeds United tackle their loss of form at Bristol City this weekend.
The former Leeds manager said head coach Thomas Christiansen was at the stage of needing “a rethink” after Reading ended United’s unbeaten home record and condemned the club to a third defeat in a row at Elland Road on Saturday.
Leeds’ results have deteriorated since a dramatic start under Christiansen, the little-known coach recruited by Leeds following a spell in charge of APOEL in Cyprus last season, took them to the top of the Championship last month.
The United boss admitted after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Reading that he was willing to break from his current tactics as a means of improving his side’s form and said the players at Elland Road were suffering from diminished confidence after losing four of their last five games.
Gray said an increased presence in midfield would provide Leeds with more “physical strength” and said he would look for 19-year-old Vieira to make his first start of the term when sixth-placed United travel to Ashton Gate this weekend.
Midfielder Vieira, who suffered a knee injury before the Reading clash, made a major impact during his first year as a professional last season but has featured on only a handful of occasions since’s Christiansen appointment in June.
Gray said: “He’s only young but I don’t think his age makes a difference to his quality or his strength. The boy can bring a bit of physicality to the team, which I think they need at the moment.
“Personally I think there are times when we need three in the middle of the park – another body to make sure that if it is a battle, we can win it.
“It’s that extra bit of strength and insurance and in my opinion, that means playing Vieira.”