Leeds United have been condemned to another season of Championship football after a play-off loss to Derby County. The Whites suffered for individual mistakes as The Rams picked up a 4-2 win at Elland Road to take them to Wembley.
One former Leeds player had his say on the result in the Sky Sports studio. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is not only an ex-Leeds striker. He is also a former Chelsea team-mate of Derby manager Frank Lampard.
He was certainly appreciative of how Lampard got the better of Leeds by changing his tactics early.
“Good managers sometimes have to make big decisions. He did that today. He went in a 4-4-2, a diamond, he went a little bit more direct. That directness gave Leeds so many problems.”
There’s no doubt that Derby’s change of style hurt Leeds throughout at Elland Road. It certainly contributed to the equalising goal, as Kiko Casilla and Liam Cooper transpired to give Jack Marriott an open goal.
Hasselbaink, however, was also clearly gutted his former team did not manage to secure Premier League football.
“Football is cruel. They have been absolutely magnificent this year. They gave the league a new dimension. Unfortunately, they could not get what they really wanted, promotion and they had their chances.”
He is right to say Leeds have been magnificent this season, thanks largely to the work from Marcelo Bielsa. However, in the end, a lack of quality and depth in the squad has cost Leeds in both their hunt for automatic promotion and via the play-offs.