Danny Mills insisted Pablo Hernandez is a “target” for opposition teams because he does not possess the “athleticism” of his Leeds United teammates.
The former England international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, said although the 34-year-old was “absolutely brilliant” in the first half of the season he is now seen as a weak-link in Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
United put an end to a barren run of form when they beat promotion hopefuls Bristol City 1-0 at Elland Road thanks to Luke Ayling’s 16th-minute effort.
However, the attacking midfielder was relatively ineffective two weeks on from his own goal that saw The Whites lose 1-0 at home to Wigan.
Mills believes age may be a factor in the Spaniard’s decline of late but has backed the winger to adapt.
“Leeds play with such intensity,” the former Leeds and Manchester City full-back told Football Insider.
“Pablo Hernandez in the first half of the season was absolutely brilliant.
“But teams are going to target him. Simple as that.
“We know how good he can be but he is no spring chicken. He does not have the athleticism that the others have and teams will mark him tighter and it might take him two or three months to adapt to that.”
The former Swansea City player spent a month out over Christmas after suffering a hamstring injury in a defeat to Fulham Athletic on the 21st of December.
Hernandez has scored four goals and contributed four assists in the Championship this season in a total of 24 appearances.
In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan is left rocked by injury to star man.