Leeds’ 3-2 loss to Ipswich on Sunday didn’t do their confidence any favours ahead of the playoff semi-final against Derby County next week.
The Whites’ visit to Portman Road signalled the return of Kemar Roofe, but he was quite clearly off the pace as he looked bereft of confidence and seemed to try too hard at times.
The forward has now gone 11 games without scoring. Unfortunately for Marcelo Bielsa, Patrick Bamford is suspended for the first leg of the playoff semis, meaning that the Argentine will have to persevere with his misfiring striker.
One positive is that the weaknesses in the Englishman’s game were highlighted by the numbers he put up. It is clear to see where he needs to improve ahead of the crucial matchup against the Rams.
He has averaged three shots per game this season. For him to shoot twice as many times as that and still not hit the back of the net shows that his striking instincts aren’t quite where they were earlier in the campaign.
The former West Brom man was also caught offside on two occasions. Roofe has often been praised for his movement and how that suits Bielsa’s style at Leeds, but he doesn’t seem to be up to speed following his injury.
The attacker lost the ball more times than any other player on Sunday, and his confidence was dented massively as he skied a penalty that could have put his side ahead.
The Whites’ top scorer looked lost out on the pitch at Portman Road, and there is clearly a lot to work on in training this week. Luckily Bielsa will be able to pinpoint where he is going wrong.
A lot of these issues are around the mental side of his game. His composure, positioning and decision-making seem to be a tad off, and that was hugely detrimental to his side on Sunday as he put in one of the worst performances of his Leeds career.
Derby will be a much tougher challenge than Ipswich and Roofe won’t get the chance to shoot as often as he did against the Tractor Boys. He has to be much more clinical with his finishing and make the right choices when he is on the ball. Otherwise, the Yorkshire club could be out of their playoff tie before the second leg even begins.