Leeds United boss Neil Warnock says the injury to Rodolph Austin killed any chance of a Leeds fight back in the second half of their defeat at home to Watford.
Leeds trailed at half time 1-0 and had been reduced to ten men after Jason Pearce was shown a straight red card on the stroke of half time.
Warnock used all three of substitutes by the start of the second half and it backfired dramatically as the side finished the game with nine men in a 6-1 defeat.
Warnock replaced Pearce with Tom Lees before half time and he made a double substitution at half time, including the introduction of Ryan Hall who scored four times for the development squad in midweek.
The Leeds boss wanted his side to go for it in the second half but a bad injury to Rodolph Austin in the opening minutes of the second half saw them reduced to nine men.
Warnock felt his side had chances to lead in the first half with David Norris hitting a post and Luke Varney missing a great chance when Manuel Almunia saved his shot.
Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “We had two great chances to take the lead to put a bit of pressure on them. One has hit the post, the other is a good save from a Varney shot, and you need something like that to go in when you are struggling for a spark.
“We then committed suicide with the goal. I thought at half time; let us have a go for it. I did not want to sit back for a 1-0 loss, I said to the lads let us be positive in how we go out and play and then the injury happens to Rudi and it kills us.”
Matej Vydra had given Watford the lead on the half hour and Pearce saw red for a reckless challenge in the last minute of the first half.
Once Leeds were down to nine men, Almen Abdi and Mark Yeates had made it 3-0 with just over ten minutes remaining.
Michael Tonge pulled a goal back from the penalty spot for Leeds with ten minutes remaining but any hope of an improbable comeback were quickly laid to rest when Vydra was once again in acres of space behind the Leeds defence to restore their three goal lead.
With Watford midfielder Almen Abdi also leaving the pitch on a stretcher after a lengthy injury, the fourth official showed ten minutes of added time.
Further goals in injury time from Sean Murray and Troy Deeney were cruel on Leeds who have now slipped to seventeenth in the championship table.
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