By Russell Edge
Former Leeds United manage Neil Redfearn has blasted striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga for his lack of enthusiasm when leading the line.
The 25-year-old forward, who is on a season-long loan at Elland Road from German side Hamburg SV, has made a mixed start to his career in Yorkshire.
He has netted five times in 10 league appearances, leaving him as Leeds’ joint top scorer in the Championship so far, but has also come under heavy criticism from fans over his performances in recent weeks, describing him as a “carthorse” and lacking in desire.
The supporters are not the only ones unimpressed with his offerings up front, with Redfearn, who was boss at Elland Road in both a caretaker’s role and a permanent position, questioning the faltering striker’s contribution to the side.
The former manager also said that Leeds need to follow in the footsteps of the like of Sheffield United, who beat the Whites 2-1 at the end of October, in playing a high pressing game and defending from the front.
Speaking on Radio Yorkshire’s Sport @ Six programme (08/11, 18:00), after a listener had accused Lasogga of “running about with two concrete blocks in his boots”, he said: “The one thing I would debate (about the comment) is running about. I don’t think he does run about.
“We’ve had so many good examples of how it should be done in recent weeks. The Sheffield United game, (Leon) Clark and Billy Sharp, the energy that they showed for 45 minutes, they terrorised Leeds.
“Anything that got knocked on or went loose, they went after it, putting them under pressure, and how many times did they fluster Leeds?
“They defended from the front, and that ran all the way through Sheffield United’s team – there’s no coincidence, where are Sheffield United? Bang at the top of the league.
“If you can get good quality players running around for one another, showing that they care, then you’ve got a team.”
The defeat to the Blades was one of seven defeats suffered in the last nine matches for Thomas Christiansen and his men, which has seen them plummet from table toppers to sitting in 10th place, 12 points off the summit and three adrift of Aston Villa in the final play off spot.
In other Leeds United news, the club are looking at making a swoop for a contract rebel on the verge of becoming a free agent.