Leeds United will be relieved after edging out Newcastle 2-1 but the performances of Patrick Bamford and Tyler Roberts will cause concern.

Marcelo Bielsa has many positives to take from the game.

The Whites controlled possession for large parts and managed the game well late on when Newcastle were pressing forward for an equaliser.

There were encouraging signs from Jack Harrison and Raphinha going forward also, with the latter’s creativity in evidence.

Up top was an area of weakness, however.

Bamford struggled to get involved once more, making just 22 touches (SofaScore).

He was rightly hauled off on the hour mark after gifting the Magpies possession for their goal.

Supporters were quick to criticise the striker post-match, but given how good he has been this season that reaction is a little harsh.

The same caveat cannot be made for Roberts unfortunately, who failed to make the desired impact at St. James’ Park when he replaced Bamford.

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It is clear to see why he is usually deployed in midfield, as he is clearly not cut out to be a striker at the top level.

Leeds need a better back-up option although that’s going to have to wait until the summer.

Roberts had been linked with a loan move to the Championship this month and we believe that would have been good for him if we could have brought a replacement in.

Former Leeds player Noel Whelan has argued Roberts has been “struggling for form” this season and that was evident on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old couldn’t muster a single shot (SofaScore) in his 30 minutes on the pitch, and also flopped in two dribbles he attempted, per WyScout.

He failed to hold the ball up during a period when we really needed that the ball to stick up-front due to Newcastle’s pressure, and he didn’t defend from the front either.

Bamford’s harrying of defenders is key to our press but Roberts did not showcase the same attributes, and in fact won just 25% of his duels.

Likewise, against Brighton when Bielsa looked to Roberts for inspiration the attacker could only manage a 64% pass accuracy, and just a single shot on target, per WyScout.

We need players capable of changing games in our favour, and currently Roberts is unable to do that.

In other Leeds United news, Whites plot swoop for £1m-rated left-back who is a ‘tireless’ runner.


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