By Mark Smith

29th Dec, 2019 | 7:30am

Whelan claims Leeds 'Never got to grips' with one thing that left them 'Surprised' v Preston

Everyone can agree that is probably best to leave the 1-1 draw against Preston in the past and look forward to the clash against Birmingham for Leeds United.

If there is one thing that needs to change to make sure the Whites don’t struggle once again, is definitely their build-up play from the back.

Without a win in three, all three points at St Andrew’s are all that matters, but Leeds certainly need to improve massively if they are to do that.

Noel Whelan commented on the Preston result in the build-up to Saturday’s game against Birmingham and claimed they were shellshocked at the away side’s start at Elland Road.

“I wasn’t expecting a rout, put it that way,” he said on BBC West Yorkshire Sport.

“I knew it’d be difficult because they made it very difficult when we play them earlier on in the season.

“I think we were surprised a little bit by the way they started, the way they pressed, how their aggression was, and we never really got to grips with that.”

Whelan is spot on with that verdict, especially in the first half. Preston obviously pressed high, but Leeds played way too slowly and that allowed the away side to defend comfortably.

Each time the Whites sped up their build-up play, they got in-behind Preston’s midfield and started to create chances – so it seems strange that it took so long for that to happen.

That isn’t taking any credit away from Preston though, and Leeds will have been happy to get a draw rather than lose a game they were on top of for the majority.

In other Leeds United news, MOT View: Update on 26-year-old proves Leeds could have made summer mistake