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Greg Abbott critical of Leeds United’s strikers, claim they lack desire

Leeds United were defeated by Rotherham at Elland Road on Saturday.

Leeds fell to a 1-0 loss to Neil Redfearn’s Rotherham on Saturday, and Greg Abbott spoke to TV Yorkshire to claim that the strikers should take much of the blame for the result as they lack desire.

When asked about the most disappointing part of the defeat, Abbott said: “I think the desire from the central players has got to be better. The balls into the box today were decent, and that is the gameplan, but strikers have got to gamble and be brave. [Mirco] Antenucci, for one, stopped and refused to head the ball - he’s got to be braver.”

Despite falling to defeat, it was actually Leeds who had the best of the game, registering more shots, more possession and a better pass completion rate.

However, in the final third, Leeds always looked weak, and they failed to correctly perform the game plan outline by head coach Steve Evans.

It is clear that Evans wants his wide players pumping crosses into the box consistently, and against Rotherham, Leeds managed 27 crosses. It was a good display from the wingers, but Abbott was disappointed with how the central strikers dealt with the chances they were presented.

Chris Wood and Mirco Antenucci led the line, and although Wood managed to win four aerial duels, the Italian managed just one. They offered little threat in the Rotherham penalty area, and Abbott was especially disappointed with Antenucci.

The former Leeds coach has explained how he refused to head the ball on occasion, criticising his lack of bravery in the final third.

If Evans wants to continue playing his brand of 4-4-2 wing-play based football, he will have to ensure that both Wood and Antenucci buy into the system, otherwise Leeds will possess almost no attacking threat from their two main strikers.

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