'Too soft' - BBC pundit slams Leeds 23-year-old in loss v Sheffield Wednesday

BBC Radio Leeds pundit Noel Whelan has slammed Leeds United defender Matthew Pennington for not doing enough to stop Sheffield Wednesday from winning on Saturday.

Pennington, 23, was easily beaten to the ball by Atdhe Nuhiu in the closing stages of the game as the Owls ace went on to put his side 2-1 up.

Jay-Roy Grot has equalised just minutes earlier for the Whites, but lacklustre defending by Pennington saw Paul Heckingbottom’s men slump to yet another defeat and slide further down the Championship standings.

Former Leeds striker Whelan was not afraid to point the finger at Pennington for his role in the defeat, saying that the Everton loanee should have been much stronger when trying to see of Nuhiu.

“Pennington’s too soft, too soft”, he said on BBC Radio Leeds after full-time at Elland Road on Saturday.

“You’ve just got yourselves back into the game and an opportunity there to win your 50-50, and we come up short.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“It allowed a one-on-one and you’ve got to be stronger in those situations – and that’s not Heckingbottom’s fault, that’s a player.”

Football Insider verdict

Liam Cooper has not been amazing this season, but the captain is looking like an amazing option now that he is out injured and Pennington is having a nightmare while standing in. The 23-year-old’s loan expires at the end of the season and there’s absolutely no way that Leeds should be looking to extend it by another year or make an offer for a permanent deal. He has been very poor this term for the Whites and not many will be bothered to see the back of him in the summer. Leeds have to make major changes in the summer, starting with the defence. Heckingbottom’s backline needs a complete rebuild around Pontus Jansson – if the big Swede stays.

In other Leeds United news, Garry Monk can have Pablo Hernandez if the Whites are able to snap up this dazzling forward from a title-chasing club.

Don’t miss out on breaking and exclusive Leeds United news by clicking here for our brilliant 24/7 updates on FacebookInstagram and YouTube.