BBC pundit pans two senior Leeds players after defeat against Wolves
By Harry Sykes
BBC pundit Noel Whelan laid into Liam Bridcutt and Pablo Hernandez for their displays in Leeds’ 1-0 Championship defeat to Wolves on Monday.
Whelan picked out midfield anchorman Bridcutt and playmaker Hernandez as two who failed to deliver the goods against the Midlands outfit.
A first-half goal from Nouha Dicko was enough to secure the three points for Paul Lambert’s visitors and inflict a damaging defeat on the Yorkshire giants.
Garry Monk’s side have dropped out of the play-off positions as their defeat coincided with victories on Monday for top-six rivals Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday.
Former Leeds striker Whelan was unimpressed with skipper Bridcutt and former Spain international Hernandez as he explained why the team lost pace in the play-off race.
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“Passing was really rushed – sloppiness, trying to force passes through, bad decision-making, nobody winning second balls,” Whelantold BBC Radio Leeds, as quoted by the BBC Leeds live matchday blog (Monday, 5.07pm). Leeds did not look as aggressive as they have done.
“You can go through the whole Leeds midfield and find players below par. I don’t see the point in having Bridcutt level with the two centre halves – why does he have to drop that deep?
“Hernandez took a lot of touches but didn’t really hurt anyone. Your number ten is your special player who makes things happen – you saw a lot of possession at Hernandez’s feet, but no end product.
“He was way back firing the ball forward at times – you want [Kalvin] Phillips to do that role, and then Hernandez to be pulling the strings around the box.
“You could have taken the whole midfield off at half time.”
Leeds have now dropped to seventh in the table with three matches of the Championship campaign remaining and face a battle secure the top-six finish that has been within their grasp for months.
It appears to be a shoot-out between Leeds, Fulham and Wednesday for two of the final four play-off spots alongside third-placed Huddersfield and Reading in fourth.
Leeds and Fulham have both accumulated 73 points but the Londoners have a superior goal difference that was extended by their 3-1 victory against Aston Villa.
Wednesday have climbed to fifth in the table after maintaining their excellent recent run with a 2-1 win at QPR on Monday.