By motleedsnews

11th Feb, 2017 | 9:06pm

BBC pundit urges Leeds to axe central midfielder

Ian Hunt

BBC pundit Noel Whelan has urged Leeds to axe one of their central midfielders in their Championship clash against Bristol City on Tuesday.

Whelan believes the Yorkshire giants have become over-reliant upon Chris Wood for goals and need their midfielders to take up some of the slack.

The New Zealand international has scored 18 of Leeds’ 42 league goals this season, an extremely high percentage for a team with promotion hopes.

The next top scorer is Souleymane Doukara, who has scored five times in the league, followed by centre-back Kyle Bartley.

Leeds drew a blank on Saturday as they fell to a second consecutive defeat with a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Neil Warnock’s Cardiff.

Whelan believes the answer to the goals problem could be to change the system or the personnel, with one of the defensive midfielders making way to provide more targets for playmaker Pablo Hernandez.

“Maybe Leeds could try one defensive midfielder next week – they just need to try to get more balls into the box,” said Whelan to BBC Radio Leeds, as quoted by their matchday blog (Saturday, 5.14pm)

“Hernandez is very, very good at creating things – but he needs midfielders running beyond him. If two midfielders are just sitting there, his options are narrowed and it has to be a pinpoint cross.

“Even if the midfielders don’t meet it – they distract the keeper.”

Leeds’ two central midfielders against Cardiff were skipper Liam Bridcutt, who was sent off late on, and 18-year-old Ronaldo Vieira, who had been given the nod over Eunan O’Kane.

Bridcutt will now miss the home clash against City on Tuesday, when Monk must decide whether to reinstate O’Kane or recall Kalvin Phillips.