Championship

More consistency needed from Leeds United’s centre-backs

More consistency needed from Leeds United’s centre-backs

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United backed up last week’s win over Swansea City with another 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon and are now only two points behind Championship leaders Norwich City with a game in-hand.

But, if the Whites were to reclaim their spot at the summit of the league, then they will need to be a bit more organised and structured at the back.

Bielsa’s men were fortunate not to be 1-0 down early on in the match on Saturday after Bolton striker Josh Magennis headed a Callum Connolly cross against the crossbar of Kiko Casilla’s goal.

Magennis was left in acres of space after defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips was handed with the task of defending against the tall centre-forward.

Philips was obviously under instructions of the manager to help out centre-backs Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper who have both struggled in defence in recent matches.

The fact that Leeds have only managed to keep one clean sheet in their previous 12 matches in all competitions clearly shows why Bielsa have ordered Philips to help out at the back in order to throw more bodies in front of the opposition attackers.

But, the manager will need the likes of Jansson and Cooper to step up and take some responsibility for their poor showings at the back, in order to improve on their mistakes.

The visiting Bolton did, however, find the back of the net in the 22nd minute due to Leeds failing to clear their lines from a corner, which resulted in a big scramble in the box before the ball landed at Mark Beevers’ feet, who calmly converted the opportunity.

The desperate attempts of Leeds trying to clear the ball away ultimately proved why a lot of work needs to be done in defence if they were to start keeping clean-sheets.

A trip to QPR on Tuesday evening will certainly be another big test for Jansson and Cooper and they will need to be a bit more aggressive and relentless in their defending if they are to stop conceding unnecessary goals.

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