Liam Bridcutt has told the Yorkshire Evening Post that Leeds United’s tendency to only play to their potential when facing off against one of the Championship’s best teams has been detrimental to their chances this season.
Bridcutt believes Leeds could be challenging near the top of the table, if they could produce their best on a weekly basis.
However, the Sunderland loanee feels that every player in Steve Evans’ squad, only raises their game when they are up against the front runners in the division.
"My best games seem to be when we play the top teams," he said. "That’s true of the whole team (at Leeds) and it’s one of the reasons why we’re not near the top of the league.
“Top teams always do it. We can do it against the bigger sides but not so much against teams lower down the league. There are teams we should be beating who we haven’t and that’s the difference between being in contention and not. It’s one of the things that needs to change next season and in terms of building, finishing on a good run would help."
Bridcutt’s point has been proven in recent times, as one of Leeds’ best performances this season came against promotion chasing Middlesbrough.
The Whites drew 0-0 with Boro at Elland Road earlier this month, and they more than matched Aitor Karanka’s side.
Leeds have been unable to keep up those standards on a consistent basis, though, and that has kept them down in the bottom half.
Evans’ side are stuck in 17th place in the Championship table, and their season looks destined to peter out.
Leeds’ next match comes against high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion later this evening, and Bridcutt’s theory will be put to the test once again in the contest.