Leeds United v Southampton: One goal and Becchio will be off and running says Jones

Neil Warnock.
Neil Warnock.
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ASSISTANT manager Mick Jones is backing Leeds United striker Luciano Becchio to rediscover his best form.

The Argentinian remains joint second in this season’s Championship scoring charts with eight goals but has not found the net in open play for more than five weeks.

Jones, however, insists Becchio will come good again as United prepare to host Premier League Southampton in the Capital One Cup fourth round tonight.

He said: “It is probably a bit of confidence. Luciano is having a hard time at the moment, everyone can see that. But we all know how genuine and hard-working he is and I am certain he is still up there as among the leading scorers in the division.

“So there is not an awful lot wrong.

“I remember quite a few years ago that Alan Shearer went 13 games without a goal and the only person who was not worried was him, while everyone else was talking about it.

“All Luciano has to do is keep doing the same things over and over and over and the end result will be a goal. And like all strikers, when they score a goal, they then start believing they will score another one. It is a little bit of confidence more than anything else.

“This is only the early part of the season and there is a long way to go yet and I am certain, given all the games left in the season, I think people will see that Becchio is up there with the top scorers in this league.”

As talks continue over a possible takeover at Elland Road, the United management remain keen to try to bolster the squad in an attempt to keep pace with the Championship pace-setters.

Jones added: “The one part of the team that does concern us more than anything else is the lack of pace up front. That is the one area that myself, the manager and Ronnie Jepson have all talked about over the weekend.

“Every scout at the club is alerted to what we want and we are looking out for that kind of play.

“It will come down to finance, that is the bottom line, I guess.

“You can go and buy the best centre-forward in the country if you have got the money. But if you haven’t, you can’t get anybody.

“At this moment in time, we are looking for an established player who is maybe early-twenties who has scored a lot of goals and is maybe going to be a free transfer.”

Leeds, who beat Everton in the last round, will assess the fitness of Rodolph Austin and Lee Peltier ahead of kick-off.

Last six games: Leeds United WDWDDL, Southampton WWLDLL.

Last time: Leeds United 0 Southampton 1; March 3, 2012; Championship.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).