With the Leeds promotion drive sputtering along under-fire manager Gary McAllister commented an a number of the clubs problems. Whilst it isn't a surprise to anyone, defensive blunders cost Leeds against Tranmere to which the manager commented:
"What's cost us again is our inability to defend our goal. It was a set piece again and we didn't handle it. One of Tranmere's strengths was the in-swinging delivery and we dropped too early and ended up defending too deep."
"We need to be stronger mentally and be brave enough to hold the line, but we were punished again. We have to show more desire and an 'over my dead body' attitude in protecting our goal. You look at the game they had two chances and two goals. We didn't test their goalkeeper enough, but at the same time nothing dropped for us either."
Certainly the club needs to toughen up but this is a reflection of the training grounds and dare I say leadership. After three decades in the coaching ranks I can assure you the one thing you never want to say is your club needs to be "stronger mentally" as that means you are requiring it. Leeds has given a blank check to many on the squad list and as much as Gary McAllister has rewarded some younger players with playing time, they have equally clung to older ones who simply play at far too slow of a pace. It might not be the message many wish to hear but the talents of Fabian Delph, Robert Snodgrass, Jermaine Beckford and Luciano Becchio are being greatly constricted with a style that goes on assault and as they enter the final third slow for the highly predictable bash into the box if not simply to allow others to catch-up. This was evident from the first match, particularly as you would see the Argentine maestro Luciano circle to the open air while he was both ignored and the rest of the Leeds force stood statuesque waiting for delivery. While Leeds is the most talented squad in League One they are hands-down the easiest to plan a strategy against and I dare think of how easy they are to defeat with counter-offensive ready 3-5-2. Leeds might be the most unusual of League One clubs in quite some time as they possess a wealth of talent but as a team are drastically under-performing. With their talent base they need to rid themselves of fear and attack ruthlessly or make plans for League One next year.