Forward thinking can rescue Leeds – Lorimer

Mirco Antenucci
Mirco Antenucci
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MUCH has been said about our home defeat to Birmingham City on Saturday and, for me, our main problem is that we do not look like scoring a goal at home at the minute.

Everyone can see our home record. We simply have got to start scoring some goals at home; you can’t win matches if you don’t score.

In my view, Mirco Antenucci has had a pretty good season and done well in the limited opportunities he has had, and we left him off the pitch until just over 20 minutes left.

I just felt that the game was almost over when he came on.

I think we need to think more about scoring goals than the opposition scoring goals and that obviously means adding the extra forward.

In that advanced position, in almost a free role just behind Chris Wood, it suits Antenucci and he does it quite well.

The roving role off the big striker is one where he can cause problems.

For me, we also really have to be more aggressive at home to get the crowds up.

At the minute, we are so nervous and edgy at home and the crowd is sensing it as well.

When you are at home at Leeds and you have 25,000 people wishing you all the best and willing you on and being right behind you, to go one up is a bit on the negative side.

The expectation and pressure of playing at Elland Road is far greater than for most other home teams in this league, it goes without saying. Our fans have been there, seen it and done it and know what they want and expect.

For all the players and Uwe Rosler, it is difficult to come in where there are great demands and finding it hard to get a result at home is going to add extra pressure.

Hopefully, the fortnight can get us relaxed and believing. It’s a time to try one or two things on the training ground and come up with the answer.

I am not a big believer in international breaks, but in our case, I think it has come at the right time. I would imagine Uwe is delighted to be able to get the players together, take stock and work on the Plan B and the next idea.

That’s the good thing with this particular break. It’s much needed for us at Leeds.

Uwe has got to use the time to work out how we are going to get more balls into the box – and players into the box as well – to score more goals. That will be Uwe’s main priority.

Work also needs doing at the back. We look vulnerable on the break as it showed again on Saturday and we find it difficult to cope with quick forwards.

Looking at things, we have brought five or six players in from the summer onwards and at the moment, it is not bedding down. It can be difficult for players to come into a side which is lacking confidence.

Will Buckley came in on Saturday and Jordan Botaka came on, but when you are bringing guys in where there is no confidence in the team, it is hard for them to get going.

They all sense it straightaway. Uwe has to work on getting that confidence and belief back and putting more pressure on the opposition.

Looking at Buckley’s debut, we were playing so badly that I don’t think the lad got a chance or a decent pass all game.

We were trying to hit 30 or 40-yard balls to him and it made it easy for the Birmingham full-back. Wingers like to get the ball and turn and run at the full-back and he never got a chance to do that. Hopefully, we can work a system where we play more football and get the ball out to the wide players.

Lewis Cook is in the England Under-19 squad that plays three games in five days in Macedonia and you have got to hope he isn’t overplayed.

Lewis has been our one guiding light this season really. Many players have struggled, but Lewis has done well and things don’t appear to have affected him.

He just gets about his job. Certainly, the last thing we need is for him to come back injured or tired. He may still only be a kid, but at this particular time, he is so vital to us. He really is. He can make the difference for us.

I know a lot of clubs aren’t happy about lots of players going away on international breaks. Thankfully, it does not affect us too much, apart from the odd player away. I remember back when I was playing when every player was an international and no-one would be at Elland Road in the week and we’d arrive back at Elland Road on Friday like strangers!

One or two would come back with injuries and knocks and that thing does worry managers.