Bielsa admits that familiar failings cost us against Wednesday.
Sunday, 12th Jan 2020 23:19 by Tim Whelan
Same old, same old. Once again Leeds had the better of the game but had nothing to show for it, as two late breakaway goals meant that Sheffield Wednesday took the points from this local derby.
This game was a frustrating repeat of the home games against Swansea and Derby, and the away game at Charlton, when Leeds created a host of chances but failed to take them, and then fell to a sucker punch of conceding a late goal.
We thought we’d put that behind us lately with the comprehensive win over Middlesbrough and the first hour against Cardiff, but yesterday it seemed to be back with a vengeance. Harrison was unlucky early on, but Bamford was guilty of spurning a couple of opportunities from good positions, missing one from a free header and scooping one well over the bar in the second half.
Admittedly Wednesday started making some chances of their own in the second half, even before they scored, but the match stats were still heavily in our favour. Leeds had 67 per cent of the possession and 14 shots on goal of which five were on target, while the Wendies had ten attempts and only two on target.
And Marcello Bielsa alluded to this familiar problem in his post match press conference. “This is a situation we have seen before. Even if we didn’t play a brilliant match in attack, we have an average of 10 chances per match. hen you create those chances the attack is good.” And he also thought we should have defended better when Wednesday broke upfield at the end.
“We lost two goals in the last five minutes and the match was for them. This has happened a lot, we know we have to protect ourselves from those situations. Again, one mistake is we thought we had learned about this. We have to focus more on the avoidable goals and try to not receive those goals.”
And Ben White told the Yorkshire Post he agreed that Leeds deserved to win the game. “I think we should have scored a couple of goals and then the game goes differently. But we didn’t and they did in the second half. I think we played well in the first half. I think we deserved to get something from the game on our first half display.”
The outcome obviously left us all bitterly disappointed, but the claims on social media that a lot of fans were booing the team off have been a little bit exaggerated. And it seems that rumours of a bust-up between Phillips and Casilla are also far from the truth, as Phillips has denied that any such thing took place.
Certainly Casilla should have done better with the first goal, as he let Murphy’s shot get past him from a narrow angle, but Ben White has insisted that the spirit in the dressing room is still good and nobody is panicking. “Losing is never nice. But we will pick ourselves up and go again this week and looking for the three points. I’m sure there will be more twists and turns. Overall I think we will just keep going and do as well as we can.”
But Bielsa obviously knows that we need to be sharper up front, which is why we are reported to be on the verge of securing a deal to take Che Adams on loan for the rest of the season for a £1m fee, with the option to convert this into a £10 million permanent transfer at the end of the season. Adams hasn’t made much of an impact at Southampton, but his 22 goals for Birmingham last season shows he’s more than capable at this level.
And he can’t come a moment too soon, as Saturday’s results meant that Brentford have cut the gap to third place down to six points. So we urgently need to improve on our dreadful record in London this season (four defeats in four games in all competitions). Firstly to pick ourselves up at QPR on Saturday, then in the game at Brentford next month, which is starting to look well crucial.
Ben White insists that all is calmness in the squad and there is no repeat of last season’s nerves setting in. And to make sure they don’t, we all need to pull together and get behind the team. MOT!
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