Noel Whelan has claimed the state of the Elland Road pitch meant Leeds United were not able to play their natural attacking game against Brighton.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites striker and boyhood Elland Road fan insisted the state of the surface was no excuse for basic errors some Leeds players made in their 1-0 defeat.
Leeds’ CEO Angus Kinnear wrote in the matchday programme, as relayed by LeedsLive, they will complete a “full reconstruction” of the playing surface at the end of the season.
The full process will take 14 weeks meaning they were unable to complete the work last summer as the gap between seasons wasn’t long enough.
And Whelan believes this cannot come soon enough after what he saw at the weekend.
He told Football Insider: “There were too many slow passes and I’ve got to say the pitch didn’t help. They’ve grown the grass longer and it was all cut up and that stopped us playing our quick, attacking football which is very important to the way we play. We were having to battle through those elements on the field.
“Saying that it doesn’t stop you passing a ball for three metres and getting it right. Everything just seemed a bit slow, sluggish and void of ideas in the final third in the first 45 minutes.
“I’ve got to say that carried on into the second half, we didn’t look like we were making many chances.
“The introduction of Pablo Hernandez helped when he got on the ball and made things happen.
“We didn’t look like were going to score a goal and that, to me, is very worrying. Especially when we’ve made the keeper work once in the space of two matches – 180 minutes.”