Noel Whelan reacts to Leeds performance against Reading
By Alex Stevens
Noel Whelan has panned Leeds for a second-rate display as they fell to a 1-0 Championship defeat to Reading on Saturday.
The Yorkshire giants’ seven-match unbeaten run came to an end as they fell to a deserved loss at the Madejski Stadium against their fellow promotion hopefuls.
A magnificent first-time, first half strike from Yann Kermorgant was enough to secure the three points in a match totally dominated by Jaap Stam’s side.
The result means Reading have leapfrogged Leeds in the Championship table, with Garry Monk’s side swapping places with their hosts on Saturday to drop to fifth.
BBC pundit Whelan was unimpressed by the manner of Leeds’s performance against Reading and believes they would have been better served by adapting their style of play.
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“Leeds improved in the second half but that performance left a lot to be desired,” Whelan told the BBC Leeds live matchday blog (Saturday, 7.29pm). “Leeds had loads of possession but didn’t test the keeper enough.
“I think Leeds can be a little too obvious – how about trying midfield runs to test the back four, instead of trying to get the ball to Wood all the time? The crosses were poor and didn’t beat the first man. Leeds got into good positions at times but poor balls let them down. They lacked options in the box.
“This Reading side are just average – if Leeds had lost against Newcastle or Brighton, fine, but Reading are not the kind of team you want to lose like this against.
“If you’re going to win games, you need to cause problems for the opposition. Leeds didn’t do that today – they were just slow to everything. The second half was better but there’s so much more to Leeds than what we’ve seen today.”
Newcastle and Brighton have pulled clear in the two automatic promotion places on a day in which the best Leeds can realistically hope for is a place in the end-of-season play-offs.
Garry Monk’s side are next in action on Tuesday when they visit Championship mid-table outfit Brentford.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club have sealed an out-of-window midfielder transfer.