By Mark Smith

26th Oct, 2019 | 4:02pm

Beckford claims Leeds 'too reliant' on ace, expects more from 25-year-old

Jermaine Beckford has claimed that Leeds United are over-reliant on playmaker Pablo Hernandez.

There is no doubting that the Spanish wizard is a major part of Marcelo Bielsa’s system, and we have certainly missed his impact this season.

Hernandez is currently out with an injury and could be back for the game against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Beckford was speaking on Sky Sports in the build-up to the Sheffield Wednesday game. The Whites’ hero admitted he wanted to see more from Helder Costa in Hernandez’s absence.

“I think a bit too reliant if I’m honest,” he said.

“They bought Helder Costa in the summer, I think as a long-term replacement for him.”

“When he [Hernandez] is not in the team, there’s not as much creativity, there’s nobody really breaking the lines, running with the ball.”

Leeds have missed Hernandez, and there have been certain points in games where his skill on the ball could have unlocked something different.

Costa showed glimpses of promise against Preston, but he needs to do much more to get involved to help create chances for Patrick Bamford.

We are not going to jump on the bandwagon and blame the Portuguese winger for his slow start to his Leeds career, but we all know that he must do more going forward.

Hernandez is the master of finding space for his teammates and himself, averaging 2.5 shots on goal per game according to WhoScored – only Bamford averages more.

Leeds have only won 33% of Championship games without Hernandez and that stat tells the true story.

The 0-0 draw against Wednesday was another game we failed to get three points in, and the return of Hernandez couldn’t come quickly enough.

In other Leeds news, Exclusive: ‘I’m just amazed’ – Paul Robinson opens up on Nketiah situation