Alex McLeish has claimed Leeds United looked “mentally tired” in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Brighton.
The former Premier League boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Whites had been burned out by their impressive run of form against top-flight giants.
Goals from Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck sealed a 2-0 win for the Seagulls.
Leeds had beaten Manchester City and held both Liverpool and Manchester United to draws in their most recent league games.
Victory means Brighton have done the double over the Whites this term, having won 1-0 at Elland Road back in January.
McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Leeds went into that game on the crest of a wave with some brilliant results. Undefeated against Man City, Manchester United, Liverpool, a great run.
“I know the disappointment among the Leeds fans, thinking it’s only against Brighton. I’ll tell you want, they’re a right good footballing side. The thing that’s stopped them not being in a higher position in the league is their profligacy and finishing.
“They’ve missed so many chances. Some of the stats have been incredible and you’re only as good as your strikers.
“They found their scoring touch against Leeds. I just thought Leeds were a wee bit tired mentally.
“You expend a lot of brain time playing against City and United. It really is a burden on your thinking time as well as the physical side. People don’t realise that. I felt it was a game too far for them.”
Brighton have scored the seventh-lowest number of goals (35) in the Premier League this season.
However, they have the best defensive record in the bottom half of the table and joint seventh-best in the league.
They have conceded 39 goals, the same as Liverpool and Leicester and less than Everton and West Ham.