Noel Whelan has said that Leeds United players need to start showing more aggression in defending to overcome their “Achilles heel” this season.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the Whites have shown a weakness when it comes to physical battles at both ends of the pitch, with opposition players often getting the better of them from crosses and set plays.

Leeds have seen the likes of Nottingham Forest and Salford City threaten thanks to their physical prowess in recent games.

Whelan says that it has been an issue for his old side for a number of years and revealed how the current squad could combat the problem.

Asked if physical battles were the squad’s Achilles heel, Whelan told Football Insider: “Yes, I think it is, we’ve already seen that. This isn’t just this season, that’s been the Achilles heel for a number of years. Not enjoying getting up and being aggressive.

“When you’re not 6 foot 3, you’ve got to get your chest up against them, enjoy that physical challenge. They’re going to realise maybe it’s not the height, it’s just getting up close and personal. We’ve got to start winning second balls or knocking it into touch. 

“Opposition sides will see a little chink in the armour where they can get at Leeds, that’s going to be an area we’re going to be susceptible. People can stop that by being aggressive in the penalty box.” 

Leeds managed to keep Wigan Athletic at bay to keep their first Championship clean sheet of the season, having seen Forest and Bristol City both score in recent weeks.

Their next game sees them take on Brentford in a midweek clash, the Bees having drawn with Hull City on Saturday.

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider that he thinks one senior star is currently unhappy with his situation at Elland Road.