There are a number of things Leeds United manager Darko Milanic can work on with his playing staff during the international break…
Leeds United are not in action again until October 17 and, after a three-game run that has yielded just two points from a possible nine it is clear that the Elland Road club need to up their game in certain areas if they are to close down the four-point gap that currently exists between themselves (in a distinctively average 14th place in the Championship) and Ipswich Town, who enjoy a placement within the play-off zone.
HITC: Sport have run various queries in Opta statistics for Championship clubs and have discovered that there are 14 areas where Leeds United operate below the average for the division - and they predominantly cover a: passing; b: shooting and c: ball retrieval and defensive work.
|2014-15 Championship||% of Fwd Passes||% of Final third passes||% of Pen area passes||Games|
Of all of Leeds United's pass attempts, 38% are in the forward direction (towards opponent's goal). This is 2% below the division average and so it is perhaps no surprise that Leeds also lag behind when it comes to passes that penetrate the final third and those that are guided into the opponent's penalty area.
If a club out-performs the majority of others in the division when it comes to effective attack-minded passes then it stands to logic that they will also have a higher goal output.
|2014-15 Championship||Shot acc||Set piece shot / game||Headed shot / game||Left foot shot / game||Right foot shot / game||Games|
However, when Leeds United have the ball in advantageous positions, it can all too often be squandered (29% shooting accuracy, 1% below the average for the Championship) or prone to gunshy behaviour - as Leeds struggle when it comes to headed chances, left foot shots and right foot shots.
|2014-15 Championship||Error Lead To Shot / game||Duel Lost / game||Head Clearance / game||Fk Foul Lost / game||Total Yellow / game||Total Red Card / game||Games|
Finally, Leeds are also sub-par when it comes to various defensive duties.
Leeds lose more duels on a per game basis, attempt fewer headed clearances, give away more fouls and attract more yellow and red cards each match. Worryingly, Leeds are almost two times as worse than the division average when it comes to conceding errors that lead to an opponent obtaining a shot on goal.