Why the international break gives Leeds United the chance to eradicate defensive frailties
A hectic start to the season has left limited time for work on the training pitch between games, which has done little to improve the fortunes of a somewhat leaky and vulnerable Leeds United defence.
The acquisitions of Kyle Bartley, Pontus Jannson (both loan) and Luke Ayling have without doubt bolstered the club’s back line. However, fans have been regularly frustrated at lapses of concentration, defensive blunders and an inability to deal with set pieces which continue to blight the team as a whole.
The presence of the international break will give Garry Monk and his backroom staff vital time to focus on working on an area in need of great improvement before league action returns, with the visit of geographical rivals Huddersfield Town, on the 10th September.
With the way fixtures come thick and fast at the start of the new season it is difficult to find the time to properly work on areas of weakness. Quick fixes are attempted as they appear, but the international break will give the whole squad time to take stock of the first month of the campaign.
Garry Monk has battled hard so far as manager/head coach, but trying to change the mentality of a football club does not come over night and the defensive errors are synonymous with the failures and frailties of previous men at the helm. In Monk I trust that things will improve because it is the least that he demands from his players.
There is more of a buzz around Leeds United and their prospects again. Monk and his men have come in for some harsh criticism, but reacted positively on the back of it. Gradual sign of improvements have been evident. Leeds look tougher after Monk described them as having a softness to their play. He challenged them to step up and they duly delivered.
The football Monk wants them to play and the fans are desperate to see, is not an impossible target. There have been some big positives amid the heart shattering moments, as highlighted in no more brutal a display than against Nottingham Forest, where defensive weakness and soft defending cost the club dearly.
That result will have hurt the squad and Monk now has the chance over the international break to remind the players how severely that pain feels, thus ensuring it leaves a permanent mark in their minds. Mistakes cost matches. If Leeds can begin to look more of a solid unit at the back, they will be a real force in the division. Their attacking improvements have already proven there are goals in the team. Now it is time to stamp out the needless errors, gifting goals to the opposition.
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