|Sheffield Wednesday 3 v 0 Leeds United|
Sunday, 1st October 2017 Kick-off 12:15
Christiansen admits Leeds need to toughen up
Sunday, 1st Oct 2017 19:19 by Tim Whelan
Thomas Christiansen has apologised to the Leeds fans for today's performance, and promised to use the international break to work with his squad to work out what they need to do to get results away from Elland Road.
"In the first 20 to 25 minutes, we did quite well and had opportunities, but we conceded two goals too easily. In the first half, they had two opportunities and scored. We were too soft in both areas so we have to improve a lot in that sense. We gave too much space. We were defending back instead of defending up, which makes you lose the second balls
"We have played against good teams and won. When you are competing in a league like this, you have to be ready to compete 100 per cent. We are not strong enough and we are not competing as we should, especially in these situations. It’s very important to analyse the situation and look forward to the next game against Reading, making a bit more emphasis on strength,”
“I speak about being strong, not soft, but at the same time it’s about living the game, reading what can happen in half-a-second, two seconds, and anticipating situations. Be prepared. We had a plan and we did it quite well in the first half but when you concede goals like we conceded, you feel a bit impotent.”
The game might have panned out differently if Alioski had scored when he should have done early on, when Saiz found him unmarked at the far post after an excellent run, but Alioski could only send a free header wide of the post. After that Wednesday began to overwhelm us in midfield, and our defence looked increasingly hesitant.
The goalkeeper has come in for some criticism in recent weeks, and early on he didn’t inspire confidence by punching a shot he could have caught in a dangerous position. And I thought he could have prevented the first goal had he been far more decisive in coming out to meet the threat from Hooper.
That said, Wiedwald made several good saves later in the game, and Christiansen refused to single him out when asked about the goalkeeper during the post-match press conference. “This is something that I want to speak about and analyse but not here. When we win we all win and when we lose we all lose. I don’t want, especially here, to complain about one of my players.”
It was also notable that a lot of Wednesday’s moves had been coming down their right hand side, with Beradi struggling a little having to fill in at left back while being right footed. Anita has played there but wasn’t selected today, while Dallas ended up as a left-wing back for the last 20 minutes after the reshuffle caused by Jansson’s injury.
It was a bit remiss not to have bought a specialist left-back amongst all the many players recruited during the summer, especially when we knew that Charlie Taylor was leaving. We can but hope that the powers that be at the club are looking to address this problem when the transfer window opens again in January.
In the meantime Christiansen will have to work with the players already at the club, and we will just have to hope that the international break has come at the right time, and that Christiansen can put the time to good use. He has promised to have a good look at his squad and make changes where need be, and one I would make would be to bring Vieira into midfield, which would give us a bit more bite without sacrificing any quality.
Perhaps Chistiansen needs a bit longer to work out what is required to succeed in English football having never worked in this country before as a manager or a player. But we have now slipped to fifth in the table, so whatever decisions he makes next will have to be the right ones.
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