Former England international Kevin Phillips has called for the leaders in the Leeds United dressing room to stand up and help Marcelo Bielsa resolve our ‘scary’ run of form.
Bielsa has only overseen two wins in the eight Championship fixtures played since being held to a 3-3 draw at home to Cardiff City in December, with the Whites clinching just eight of a possible 24 points.
Only West Bromwich Albion, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday (seven) and Luton Town (four) have taken fewer points over the same period, while Fulham, Nottingham Forest (17) and Brentford (14) have all moved closer to the automatic promotion places.
Phillips does not know why Leeds have fallen off the pace so much in recent weeks, and has proposed that United must tackle the trend head-on as we enter the business end of the season.
“I do not know, but it is scary,” Phillips told Football Insider. “We are at the time where you need your leaders and your strong characters, and they are losing games that they should not.
“Psychologically, it can be like ‘here we go again.’ They need to address this run of form and start winning games.”
What will the result be at Nottingham Forest on Saturday?
Phillips is not the first to suggest that Leeds are hitting a psychosocial wall, either, after Gary Bloom, a clinical psychotherapist who works for League One Oxford United, suggested there may be a collective disbelief in the squad which is hindering our performances.
It would hardly be surprising if one, two or even more of the first-team are hitting a mental wall with their performances and fearing that repeat slip-ups are possible, having seen results fall by the wayside too many times this season.
We lost our first game of the league season to Swansea City at the end of August when Wayne Routledge fired home in stoppage-time, before dropping two points to Derby County just three weeks later when Chris Martin found the net in the 91st-minute.
The horrific festive showdown with Cardiff City may also be playing on the players’ minds, after going 3-0 up inside 52 minutes only to allow the Bluebirds to claw their way back into the game and equalise in the 88th-minute.
Since the clash with the South Wales outfit, Bielsa has only been able to achieve two wins in the league to four defeats – a run we simply cannot allow for much longer, and certainly need the leaders in the squad to hold the rest, and themselves, to account.
In other Leeds United news, fans have been left livid after Bielsa’s pre-Nottingham Forest update.