Building from the back.
That appears to be the message that Ben White wanted to get across as Leeds prepare to take on Queens Park Rangers this weekend. Leeds currently boast the second-best defence in the division, having conceded only 23 goals in 27 league games, but that’s still not enough in the eyes of the on-loan Brighton defender.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Evening Post, White said that it’s not just about keeping the number of goals down, but eliminating conceding them all together, as the club have gone six league games since keeping their last clean sheet:
“Clean sheets haven’t been there at the moment, but that’s what we need to get back to, get back to the drawing board, clean sheets and get some goals. We will pick ourselves up and go again.”
Whilst he might be talking about keeping clean sheets for the good of the team at the back, the truth is that if things don’t improve for Leeds in attack, they might have to rely on clean sheets to win games.
With Leeds currently have the joint-worst goals conversion rate in the Championship whilst at the same time having the most shots in the division with 433, which is 50 more than second-placed Brentford on 383. So whilst some of Leeds United’s promotion hopes will hinge on being able to keep the goals down, as results all season have shown, it can’t just be down to them to keep the score down, sometimes it does have to come down to scoring more than your opponent.
The defenders can’t be asked to bail out the team every week, this is an effort that has to come from everyone, and you can make the argument that the defenders need to pick up some of the slack when it comes to scoring as well, with only two goals this season coming from out and out defenders (so excluding the likes of Gjanni Alioski and Stuart Dallas).
Will we sign a striker this month?
Once the rest of the team finds their scoring boots, the pressure on the defence will gradually decline, and we might be able to see them back to their best once they know that not all the pressure is on them.