Championship

Saturday’s loss at Stoke came at just the right time for Leeds

Saturday’s loss at Stoke came at just the right time for Leeds

Leeds United’s gap at the summit of the Championship table was cut to only point over Norwich City after Marcelo Bielsa’s men suffered a 2-1 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday.

In general, it was a bit of roller-coaster week for the Yorkshire club and one they would be glad is over.

The spy-gate incident probably added to the poor showing of the Whites at the bet365 Stadium but it could perhaps have been a blessing, given that there is still a long way to go in the season.

Performance wise, the loss against Stoke was probably the best indication to Bielsa and his team that they will have to up their intensity if they were to qualify for the Premier League next season.

Leeds were off the pace from the very beginning of the match and lacked the force and ruthlessness they have been playing with for most of the season.

The team’s creativity was also non-existent and struggled to move forward with rhythm with players like Pablo Hernandez and Jack Clarke having a rather quiet afternoon, while Pontus Jansson’s red-card emphasised the team’s lack of commitment on the day.

Bielsa, though, has shown great composure as a manager this season to keep his team in the contest and make quick recoveries after poor performances.

Leeds travel to Rotherham this coming Saturday and it’s the ideal encounter to hit their stride again against a team who have also been struggling lately.

Bielsa shouldn’t let any of the off-field drama affect his team and the squad should put their latest loss behind them in order to make the quickest turnaround.

But, the Stoke result should, more importantly, be seen as the game that was the turning point in their campaign where they decided to up their fight and finish the season strongly.

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