Leeds have been handed a warning. Despite dominating possession and creating more chances, few fans seemed to think that Marcelo Bielsa’s men deserved anything more than the defeat Norwich inflicted upon them on Saturday.
It is not the first time we have had to deal with a loss since the turn of the year. Already there have been four of them. But this one hurts more. And changes are needed.
So with that in mind, here are five changes that Bielsa must consider ahead of Saturday’s crucial trip to Middlesbrough…
Jamie Shackleton for Luke Ayling
Luke Ayling’s form continues to be a genuine concern. He has not rediscovered the form from his first season, and was really poor on Saturday. His height may ensure that he keeps his place against a physical Middlesbrough side, but the industrious Jamie Shackleton deserves his chance. The youngster is yet to let the side down.
Barry Douglas for Gjanni Alioski
Barry Douglas was poor when he came on on Saturday. And Gjanni Alioski has actually done well at left-back since the Scot sustained an injury. But Alioski’s form has dipped again, and Douglas’ ability to put a dangerous ball into the box could make a difference against a Boro side that do not concede many goals.
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Kalvin Phillips for Adam Forshaw
Derby felt like a turning point for Adam Forshaw. But that optimism has evaporated and the decision to leave Kalvin Phillips out against Norwich now looks like a dreadful mistake. Phillips must start on Saturday. Surely, Bielsa could not justify leaving him out again.
Jack Clarke for Jack Harrison
Jack Harrison did not enjoy the best night against Norwich, and it was no surprise when he was taken off. Unfortunately, Jack Clarke did not prove to be the catalyst that he was at Aston Villa, but there was one moment when he glided past Norwich’s full-back with ease. His limitless potential could be exactly what we need to see on Saturday.
Patrick Bamford for Pablo Hernandez
Izzy Brown must, at least, be on the bench for the trip to the Riverside Stadium. But it is probably too soon to expect the Chelsea ace to start. Instead, with Pablo Hernandez needing a rest, Bielsa should consider starting Patrick Bamford. Bamford was superb when he came on against Norwich. Bamford has shown that he can do a job out wide, but Kemar Roofe could also feature in that role. The pair in the same lineup gives Leeds the unpredictability they really need.