By Joe Roberts

1st Oct, 2023 | 8:10pm

Jermaine Beckford blasts 'very frustrating' Leeds performance v Southampton despite 'uncharacteristic' verdict

Leeds United are unlikely to perform to such a low standard “any time soon” after their 3-1 loss to Southampton, according to Jermaine Beckford.

Speaking live on Sky Sports, the pundit suggested that Southampton’s surprise tactics facilitated Daniel Farke’s side’s poor performance in the first half of the clash, while their uncommonly excellent play proved too much for Leeds.

Beckford was quick to moot any notion of fundamental issues at Elland Road, however, suggesting that Leeds will quickly bounce back.

Beckford said, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I think Southampton’s game plan completely threw Leeds United off. It was very frustrating, they just didn’t seem to get in the groove of things at all. They were second to most balls, especially in that first half.

“Southampton were fantastic, they moved the ball really well, they didn’t keep the ball at the back as I expected them to do, they changed their game plan very, very quickly and very cleverly. It was an uncharacteristic performance from Leeds United and one that I don’t expect to see again any time soon.”

Rare loss

Leeds have made a habit recently of not losing games, a habit that they finally kicked at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday (30 September), ending their six-game unbeaten run in the league. The Saints proved a surprisingly strong opponent on the South Coast, considering their poor form in their Championship return.

The significant improvement in the second half indicates that the opening 45 minutes was something of a flash in the pan for Farke’s side and very “uncharacteristic” of the Whites this season, as Beckford suggests.

On paper, Leeds looked at least equal opposition to the Saints, outshooting them with 15 shots to their 10 and holding the greater of possession with 53% [SofaScore].

However, the Whites faltered in other key areas and failed to register a single big chance while defensive mistakes at the back cost them some cheap goals. However, the Elland Road faithful will not be in crisis mode. The Championship is unpredictable at the best of times and continued good performances, like they’ve shown in recent weeks, will likely push them up the table.

Farke’s first nine games at Leeds have left them in ninth place, just three points from a playoff spot but 11 from top-of-the-league Leicester City, so consistent wins are needed if automatic promotion is to be on the cards.

In other Leeds United news, a Sky Sports commentator has fumed at a Leeds star after what he did against Southampton.