COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Leeds recorded a narrow 2-1 away victory against Rotherham on Saturday and were made to work extremely hard against 10 men.
The Whites will have to improve drastically in their next two games as they travel to Anfield to face Liverpool in the EFL Cup quarter-finals, followed by an in-form Aston Villa in the Championship at Elland Road.
Garry Monk’s side took the lead against Rotherham in the 14th minute, with clinical striker Chris Wood scoring his 12th goal of the season across all competitions.
Leeds should have gone on to boss the game as Peter Odemwingie was sent off for a deliberate elbow on Liam Cooper in the 29th minute.
The Yorkshire club did go in at half-time 2-0 up thanks to a well-take Souleymane Doukara goal in stoppage time.
Monk’s side were completely outplayed in the second-half despite having a man advantage and Rotherham striker Richard Wood scored an 86th minute goal, but the home side could not find an equaliser.
Leeds’ performance will be a real concern against a team who sit rock bottom of the Championship, already 11 points from safety.
They dealt well enough without centre-back Pontus Jansson, who missed the game through suspension, but were extremely wasteful in attack positions.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be expected to dominate possession on Tuesday night and Leeds will need to be clinical when they have the ball.
Midfield pairing Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Philipps were both guilty of being sloppy in possession, something they will not get away with against Premier League opposition.
The Whites did move into the play-off positions with their win on Saturday and will want to secure their place in the top six, but their next league encounter is against Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa.
Villa are unbeaten in seven games since Bruce was appointed manager and completed a 3-1 home victory against Cardiff on Saturday.
Monk will be aware that his side under performed against Rotherham and must improve in their next few games, or face a reality check against two difficult opponents.
In other Leeds news, Kemar Roofe thrived in his new position in the win against Rotherham.