Leeds United legend Andy Ritchie feels the club need to add experience in January if they’re to avoid a season spent just above the Championship relegation places.
Leeds have struggled over the start of this season, with three different managers having all had a say on the way the team should be playing and who should be in the first choice starting eleven.
There’s also been a lot of pressure placed on the youngsters at the club and while Ritchie is backing his old team to be safe, he feels they could make life easier for themselves if Neil Redfearn adds correctly next month.
“I’ll stick my neck out now and say that this squad won’t go down. I just don’t see it. They probably won’t be miles clear of the relegation places either but I’m expecting at least four or fives teams to be worse off than Leeds,” wrote Ritchie for the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“We’ll get more of the same in the second half of the season unless the club manage to bring a few experienced, reliable players in. That’s the only thing that can turn this side from a good-team-on-their-day to a good-team-every-weekend.”
There is a plethora of young talent at Leeds, which is a tribute to the way Redfearn developed the academy when he was in charge of the youth ranks.
However, those younger players need protection from individuals who know what the Championship is all about.
There’s nothing wrong with the nature and calibre of the foreign arrivals coming in at Leeds and the likes of Leonardo Pavoletti would be a superb addition, but the problem is they don’t know the division.
Ritchie also feels that a main problem for Leeds has been the defence, which has shipped goals in big games when the Whites may have taken something had the back four kept things tighter.
“As for the negatives, I’m looking mainly at the defence. The record on paper isn’t great but when you break it down, it’s the goals themselves that make you worry. How many have been gifted to the opposition this season?”
His message is clear; keep things tight and bring in some extra experience to take the edge off of the youngsters.