By George Overhill

13th Mar, 2022 | 11:10am

Phil Hay: Rodrigo's place 'must be under threat' for Leeds United

Rodrigo is likely to be the man to carry the can for Leeds United after the dreadful defeat to Aston Villa according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay.

The Spanish forward started in the 3-0 loss at Elland Road but was hooked at half-time in favour of youngster Joe Gelhardt, who could be the man to benefit with Patrick Bamford still short of full fitness.

The visit of the Canaries this afternoon (13 March) has incredible pressure riding on it after Jesse Marsch lost his first two games in charge, as the Premier League’s bottom side surely brings the American his biggest chance at much-needed points.

Ahead of the game on his Q&A on The Athletic, Hay wrote: “Rodrigo’s place must be under threat and Jesse Marsch has the option of using Joe Gelhardt up front.

“It might be that he’s still not quite ready to start Patrick Bamford – although that can’t be far away now.

Now or never

If The Whites can’t overcome Dean Smith’s side then the chances of them staying up look vanishingly small.

There had been a sense of hope after the incoming manager’s first game at Leicester yielded an improved tactical performance in a narrow defeat.

But that hope went out the window against the Villains who outplayed a United side who looked completely lost.

Fears that Marcelo Bielsa was the only man who had a chance of getting anything out of this squad ramped up, as the likes of Rodrigo and Jack Harrison performed particularly poorly.

The one bright spot was the return of Patrick Bamford without further injury, although he wasn’t able to affect the result.

Surely Gelhardt has to start today, with the senior England colleague to be introduced of the bench at least, as the team looks to overcome the striking deficit that has plagued them for weeks on end this season.

In other Leeds United news, Paul Merson trashed the new boss’ rhetoric on Soccer Saturday.