Leeds United saw a chance to go seventh slip through their fingers in an away loss to Brighton. So we look at the three areas Leeds could and should improve on.
Leeds United will be left ruing their short-comings against Brighton as a chance to go seventh and two points below sixth placed Reading passed them by.
The Yorkshire outfit have been in good spirits recently, after their mini-turnaround in results, winning their last two on the bounce.
It was the same downfalls which blighted the Leeds United side at the start of the year that once again shone through as Brighton and Hove Albion were able to grab a deserved three points.
We take a look at three areas which cost Leeds United in the game against Brighton, and why they need to improve on them in order to finish in the play-offs.
1) Game too congested in the middle of the park.
Brighton are renowned for playing congested, tight touch football in the middle of the mark with many short-range options and Leeds United simply fell into the trap.
The best method for Leeds United would have been to get Brighton playing the style of football they aren't familiar with and retaining possession a lot better.
A major flaw in Leeds's game is their inability to keep the ball better, once again finishing with a ridiculously low pass accuracy of just 65%. Out of the midweek games only Bolton were worse with 64%
2) HUGE lack of creativity!
Leeds United created six goalscoring opportunities in the match, four shots on target and five off target.
In comparison Brighton midfielder Andrea Orlandi created six goalscoring chances on his own. This is another area where Leeds United have become soft this season, with Ross McCormack becoming their main source of attacks and main threat from attacks. And as he had a quiet game tonight, it was easy to spot because the lack of substance from Leeds was really quite poor.
3) One-dimensional game plan, with poor follow-through.
I don't quite know how else to word it, but the statistics speak from themselves on this point.
A lot has been made of crossing recently, especially after the Manchester United fiasco. Brian McDermott however hasn't painted himself in a good light with this seemingly latest strategy away from home.
Leeds made 25 crosses in the game against Brighton, with just THREE landing accurately. It is a ridiculously poor return for the amount of times they tried this method and should have clicked on earlier that it wasn't working.
Fortunately for Brian McDermott and Co, this result hasn't hurt them too much and they're still only five points from 6th placed Reading.
Something does need to change for them, otherwise it could be yet another season playing in the Championship.
image: © Auz