Leeds impressed me doing this one thing, says Reading star

Leeds United Crest

Reading forward Simon Cox has revealed where Leeds impressed him in their 0-0 draw at Elland Road.

The Royals dominated the game, registering more shots on target and holding more of the ball than the Yorkshire-based side, but a goalless draw was a fair result for the two teams.

The result gave recently appointed head coach Darko Milanic his first point as Whites boss, whilst Reading moved into 10th place, three points off the play-off positions.

Neither team impressed heavily during the game, although Reading had two penalty shouts turned down, and Leeds appear to have taken steps backwards since the arrival of Milanic, with the Slovenian unable to continue the run of good form that Neil Redfearn had overseen during his caretaker spell.

The side look slow on the ball and lacking in creativity, and, despite playing at home, they looked more defensive than in recent weeks, with the diamond midfield used under Redfearn replaced with a 4-2-3-1 that registered just one shot on target.

Despite the offensive weakness on show, the inclusion of two holding midfielders prevented Reading from attacking with the high speed that has been seen for much of this season, and Royals’ forward Simon Cox, who played 75 minutes before his removal from action, was impressed with how Leeds had set-up to stifle any play.

Speaking to the official Reading website after the game, Cox said: "We were able to keep the ball across the back quite comfortably, but they put two sitting midfield players in to block the lines between midfield and defence and that made it difficult to make penetrative passes.”

The 4-2-3-1 is the most recognisable formation in modern football, with the majority of teams using a variation of the system. Tommaso Bianchi and Lewis Cook fulfilled the role of holding midfielder for the Whites on Wednesday night, and they completed 10 tackles and four interceptions between them.

However, they could not prevent Reading from registering four shots on target, and Cox was aware that he and striker partner Glenn Murray should have done better with the few chances presented to them.

He added: “We put some good balls in the box and that's where myself and Glenn need to get on the end of them.

"That said it's a good point away from home and we go again.”

Reading travel to Brentford on Saturday looking to move themselves into the play-off places, whilst Leeds host local rivals Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road, with Milanic still looking for his first victory.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch