By Alex Stevens
Noel Whelan has claimed the Leeds players are “soft” as he identified their main failing in a rollercoaster season.
The Championship club lost 4-1 to Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield last weekend to end a run of three consecutive victories and spark an apparent change of heart in the boardroom about the position of Steve Evans.
The manager’s position is hanging by a thread but former Leeds striker Whelan is convinced that the players must take their share of the blame.
He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “As it stands, there have been some very good performances but there have also been some shocking ones and Huddersfield is up there with them.
“It’s the mental toughness that I question about a lot of the players when things aren’t going right and people aren’t playing well. How do you get something out of the game?
“At the moment I think we are a little bit soft mentally when it comes to seeing out games and riding a bad period of a game and going a goal behind.”
It has been reported that there was a dressing room mutiny in the wake of the defeat to Huddersfield, with the players said to have made it clear to owner Massimo Cellino that they were unhappy to be playing under Evans.
“There’s always going to be players that don’t get on with a manager,” Whelan observed. “That is just the way it is. A manager is always going to prefer some players to others and that’s not just Steve Evans, that’s every manager.
“Look at Christian Benteke, not in Jurgen Klopp’s eyes, but in many manager’s eyes he would be the first choice on their team sheet. It just goes to show that not every player gets on with managers. But what players have got to do is they have got an obligation, with their contract, to the fans and to themselves, to go out there and put in a performance.
“Whether you like the manager or not, it makes no odds. If you are chosen to play a game, you go out there, you earn your money, you do the fans proud, you do your club proud.
“At the moment I feel that a lot of people are not playing for that. They are just coasting through until the end of the season when they are getting paid a lot of money here.
“All they want to see is 100 per cent effort from players and giving it a bit of a go, not a mental collapse which is what we are getting at the moment.”
In other Leeds news, club legend Peter Lorimer has identified the player the club should have moved heaven and earth to sign last summer.