Leeds United fell to their first defeat of the season on Tuesday.
Leeds lost at home to Ipswich by a 1-0 scoreline, and Uwe Rosler has told the Yorkshire Evening Post that his players need to start playing at a higher tempo if they are to cope with the rigours of the Championship.
The German head coach said: “In general I think we should be playing at a higher tempo. Our players should have the confidence and belief that we can go for 90 minutes. We have enough in the tank. That’s something we have to address.”
Leeds have shown a desire this season to play football on the ground, placing technical excellence over physicality and brute strength.
It is a bold move, and a rewarding one when it overcomes opponents successfully, with the Whites having shown against Derby that they could out-pass even the most technical teams in the division.
However, there are down sides to this type of football, and Ipswich proved that their game plan of long balls and route one goals can be the perfect way to defeat a team who want to keep the ball in the midfield.
If the ball is never on the ground, how are Leeds meant to establish themselves in the game?
The 4-3-3 system means that Leeds dominate the midfield, but they are bypassed if the ball is played from the defensive third to the attacking third through the air.
Having a higher tempo would reduce the chance of the opposing team putting their game plan into action, and Rosler wants to see his players utilising the high pressing system he wants to see at Elland Road.
If all the players are pressing the opposing players, they will be offered no time to settle in the game, and Leeds will be the team who will impose themselves.
The other option is for Rosler to change formation. As long as he perseveres with the 4-3-3, he will risk losing the game if Leeds are not the team with possession, whilst a different system could allow Rosler to alter his style of play against differing styles of football.
A 4-4-2 would allow Leeds to match opponents on a physical level, sacrificing midfield cover for defensive security elsewhere on the pitch, whilst also bringing another striker into the fold to increase offensive chances. It may not be as fancy as a 4-3-3, but the 4-4-2 suits Leeds' current players to a tee.
Rosler has his side playing the technical football that he wants, but until they start to live up to the energetic philosophy as well, Leeds will continue to be an easy target for a number of Championship opponents.