Watford v Leeds United: Leeds need more quality, admits Hockaday

Dave Hockaday.
Dave Hockaday.
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RAIL closures in the south of England are likely to make travel to Watford a little tricky today for Leeds United supporters; many, meanwhile, will make the trip hoping their side is not about to come off the rails.

Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Brighton & Hove Albion was a demoralising affair with even a second-half rally unable to lift spirits at Elland Road.

Coming just three days after a morale-boosting win at home to Middlesbrough, the below-par display continued the early roller-coaster feel to United’s season and supporters will be hoping that their side can bounce back this afternoon at Vicarage Road.

Dave Hockaday, who revealed in the wake of the Brighton loss that his squad had been suffering from a virus, will be on familiar ground today after spending seven years on the Hornets’ coaching staff.

“We have been keeping the ball very well other than the first half against Brighton,” said the Leeds head coach. “I have watched the game back a few times and, again, our defensive shape was good. They played very well and had a lot of the ball in the first half but they had only one shot on target.

“We didn’t work hard enough to keep the ball but, in the second half, we dominated and camped in their half pretty much.

“I feel we’ve got some very good players in there but maybe we could add one or two more.

“We have got lots of numbers if you involve the kids. But when you look at actual strength and depth in terms of the Championship, I would say we need more quality.

“All the players have been given an opportunity but if you look at the bench of the teams we’ve played and the seasoned Championship players they have then I still feel we’re lacking.”

Striker Mirco Antennuci could be handed his debut after the 30-year-old joined from Italian club Ternana in midweek.

United were on the verge of signing Casper Sloth last night after agreeing the terms of a three-year contract with the Danish midfielder. Sloth is poised to complete a move from Aarhus for a fee of around £600,000.