Eddie Gray names fringe player as man to change Leeds' dreadful form
By Russell Edge
Leeds United legend Eddie Gray has said that Thomas Christiansen should reinstate Ronaldo Vieira into the starting XI after suffering three straight defeats.
Saturday saw the Whites fall to a 1-0 home defeat to Reading thanks for former loanee Mo Barrow’s goal, following similarly disappointing results against Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday, which has seen them concede seven and score just once.
Christiansen did axe goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald in favour of Andy Lonergan after the German’s display against the Owls, but continued to use much of the same starting XI v the Royals.
One man missing from the squad was midfielder Ronaldo Vieira, despite having been named on the bench against Wednesday, with the 19-year-old having seen his game time limited due to an ongoing injury niggle in his knee.
Christiansen says that is why he was kept out of Saturday’s clash, but Gray believes the youngster is the man to change Leeds’ fortunes as he urged the Danish manager to switch up his tactics.
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Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, he said: ““For me it comes down how well the players are dominating games.
“We’re not overpowering teams in the midfield and I think Thomas might have to have a rethink now.
“Personally, I think there are times when we need three in the middle of the park – another body to make sure that if it is a battle, we can win it.
“It’s that extra bit of strength and insurance and in my opinion, that means playing (Ronaldo) Vieira.”
The England under-20 international has seen himself in and out of the Leeds squad this season as the injury has limited his availability.
As a result he has made just three league appearances this season, not one of those coming in the starting XI, with a further four matches left unused on the substitute’s bench.
He has started each of the club’s three League Cup matches, playing every minutes, including extra time in the club’s win over Burnley on penalties.
A graduate of the youth academy at Elland Road, he has made a total of 45 appearances for the club, scoring twice.
In other Leeds United news, Christiansen has revealed what he demands of his first team players.