Leeds weren’t at their very best on Thursday as they faced off against Preston North End at Elland Road.
The Whites had to rely on a last-minute winner from Stuart Dallas to rescue a point against the Lilywhites, but it certainly wasn’t a performance to remember as the Yorkshire outfit failed to win at home for the second game in a row.
Of course, Leeds had a heavily depleted squad after losing Pablo Hernandez to injury against Fulham, but it wasn’t just the Spaniard who was massively missed against Preston.
Watch Leeds United Videos With StreamFootball.tv Below
Indeed, Phil Hay stated that Adam Forshaw could have been the difference-maker had he been fit to play against Alex Neil’s side.
Hay hosted a post-match Q&A session on The Athletic after the Yorkshire club’s 1-1 draw with Preston.
One fan stated that the team may need to purchase a midfielder in January after a flat performance, to which Hay replied:
“Either that or get Forshaw back from injury. Again, he might have made a difference today. It was a game where Leeds needed more presence in the middle of the pitch. They found Preston’s high press very difficult to negate in the first half.”
Leeds are usually the side pressing teams and dominating games, but Preston managed to put them under real pressure in possession.
Preston burst out of the blocks on Thursday, and Hay is right in saying that Leeds struggled to deal with their pressing game. Preston attempted an impressive 10 tackles in Leeds’ half, including three in their own third, alongside a whopping 15 fouls, and Bielsa’s side consequently lost possession 10 times in their own half.
United just didn’t have the means to play around Preston’s runners and ultimately required a last-minute goal to ensure a point, but a man who boasts an 89.7 per cent pass success rate in central midfield could well have made the difference.