Kalvin Phillips has conceded that Leeds United are weak at seeing out games when only one goal to the good, but is confident that the key issue will not prove to be a problem, as told to Leeds Live.
Leeds dropped points late in a game for the second time in three Championship fixtures when Derby County came back to snatch a point in stoppage-time, just three weeks after Swansea City struck a late winner at Elland Road.
Leeds have struggled at home for much of the current Championship campaign, despite the Whites topping the second-tier table heading into match week seven.
From their four ties played at Elland Road, Marcelo Bielsa’s men have allowed seven points to slip from their clutches, with Nottingham Forest and Derby coming from behind to salvage draws either side of Swansea’s late winner.
Had it not been for a flurry of spurned chances, Leeds would not have found themselves trying to claw on to a one-goal lead at home to Derby last time out, and Phillips feels that is the issue which must be resolved.
“I think, for us, the second goal is vital,” the midfielder told Leeds Live. “If we’re one-nil up, we get a bit cagey towards the end. If we get that second goal, which we didn’t today [against Derby] unfortunately, but I think once we get the second goal, there’s no stopping us.”
He added: “I think we can work on [finishing chances] more, but I think it comes down to luck. You’ve seen today [Patrick Bamford] got in so many good positions, and he hit the post. With [Mateusz Klich] missing the penalty, I think we could have easily come away with a good three or four-nil win.
“I think it’s a kind of luck really. Once we get those goals, there’ll be no stopping us.”
Leeds solving their struggles to turn chances into goals will certainly help the Elland Road natives go a far way in their quest for promotion into the Premier League.
But days, where one goal is all they can score, will come here and there, and it will be about keeping the opponent at bay on those days that sees the Whites put vital points on the board.
Phillips, who has again been a key regular under Bielsa this term (WhoScored), will know that late slips cannot be allowed, and carrying a mentality of being cagey in the closing stages can easily come back to haunt the West Yorkshire outfit.
Leeds fans, are you concerned by Phillips’ admission of being cagey in the closing stages? Let us know in the comments below…
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