After 2-1 loss, Leeds manager Redfearn fires warning to striker Mirco Antenucci

Mirco Antenucci

Neil Redfearn was less than impressed with Mirco Antenucci's display against Cardiff City.

Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn has told BBC West Yorkshire that he wants more from striker Mirco Antenucci after the 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff City.

The Whites have now lost three games in a row after this afternoon's latest loss, following on from 3-0 and 4-3 defeats to Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Today, it was Cardiff who left Leeds empty handed, as Sean Morrison gave the Bluebirds the lead before Kalvin Phillips struck a goal on his Elland Road debut for Leeds to equalise - only for Aron Gunnarsson to win the game for Cardiff on the hour mark.

Manager Neil Redfearn was obviously frustrated with the result after the full-time whistle, and told BBC Radio West Yorkshire that he needs better, more rounded displays from Italian striker Antenucci. 

"You're looking for more off Mirco," said Redfearn. "It's alright saying that he can't play that lone striker role, but that's the system we're playing. He's got to find it, he's got to go and find it within himself. He's got to do more, the ball has got to stick when it goes into him, he's got to get his body in the way."

"He's going to get kicked and he's got to be brave. These are aspects that he's got to get in his game if he's going to be a top striker," he added.

Antenucci, 30, arrived at Elland Road from Ternana last summer, and despite being in-and-out of the side recently, he remains the club's top scorer this season with 10 goals.

At 5ft 10in, aerial prowess and strength are not Antenucci's best qualities, but Redfearn is left with a dearth of consistent centre forwards who can fill that lone role.

Steve Morison battled well during his run in the team, but isn't a goalscorer, whilst Souleymane Doukara and Billy Sharp have been reduced to bit-part roles.

For now, Antenucci looks likely to remain in the centre forward role - but this warning from Redfearn is a clear sign that he must improve many different aspects of his game in order to keep his place.

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