By George Overhill

17th Sep, 2023 | 3:40pm

Pascal Struijk slammed by Sky Sports pundit for 'awful' error in Leeds United win at Millwall

Pascal Struijk was “awful” as he made a clumsy error for Leeds United in the 3-0 win at Millwall on Sunday, according to Andy Hinchcliffe.

The Sky Sports pundit reacted live on the broadcaster’s match coverage on 17 September as the Whites defender sold Illan Meslier short with a misdirected header that went out for a corner.

Struijk was running back towards his own goal under pressure from a home attacker midway through the opening 45 minutes but managed to miscue the bouncing ball the wrong direction, to hand the Lions an opportunity to equalise from a set-piece which Hinchcliffe wasn’t impressed by.

The former Manchester City and Everton player said (12.23pm): “The ball was bouncing but I’m not sure he should be making a mess of this. It’s just an awful header.”

No harm done

Struijk has been better so far this season than he was at times last term, certainly when playing centrally, but he still shows signs of the sort of lapses that have plagued the Whites back line in recent years.

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When Daniel Farke revealed that captain Liam Cooper was back in full training this week he might have been expected to slot back in alongside Joe Rodon.

But the Scotland international wasn’t in the match-day squad and Charlie Cresswell was left on the bench throughout the game after spending a year on loan at Millwall last season.

Ultimately, in what was probably the best Leeds United performance of the season so far, it was a minor inconvenience that Struijk got the header back to Meslier completely wrong, and two clean sheets on the bounce can’t be overlooked.

But while Rodon has proven to be a very solid addition at the back there may be question marks over who is best suited to partner him long-term.

Struijk is fairly useful in possession but defensively there are some concerns, although if the attacking unit can perform as they did in South London it may not matter too much.

Joel Piroe scored his second and third Whites goals, while Georginio Rutter his second, and the two combined well with Willy Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville to display the impressive forward options in the squad this year.

In other Leeds United news, Farke revealed “sad news” after the final whistle with a first-team player set to miss multiple weeks of action.