Allardyce lays into five Leeds players after West Ham defeat as relegation nears
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Leeds United manager Sam Allardyce has criticised the five substitutes that came on against West Ham for failing to make an impact. The Whites now have one match to save their Premier League season, and nothing less than a win will do at home to Tottenham next weekend.
An early goal from Rodrigo Moreno gave Leeds the advantage at the London Stadium, but the wheels came off after Declan Rice’s equaliser, and second-half goals from Jarrod Bowen and Manuel Lanzini sealed a disappointing 3-1 defeat.
Brenden Aaronson, Marc Roca, Crysencio Summerville, Wilfried Gnonto and Sam Greenwood all came off the bench for the visitors, but Allardyce made a point to acknowledge their lack of impact during his post-match interview.
“The second half was a bit of a battle, a bit of a struggle and then whatever we tried in terms of changes didn’t improve the situation for us,” he told Sky Sports.
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Addressing the broader make-up of the squad, the former Newcastle United and England manager added: “The first XI really show up, but when we need that squad, the [substitutes] haven’t quite shown the [same] impact in the short period of time [I have been here].
“I may be being unkind to them but it is only what my very experienced eyes are seeing at the moment. The impact from the subs wasn’t there. That gives me an even bigger look at the situation and the squad as a whole because the subs didn’t make a difference when we needed them.”
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Leeds are now in 18th place, two points from safety with a worse goal difference than Everton ahead of them. Allardyce and co will therefore hope that the Toffees lose at home to Bournemouth next weekend, while 19th-place Leicester could also come into the equation.
The Foxes are one point behind Leeds and three behind Everton, but they have a game in hand. Allardyce has addressed the scale of the task facing his side, and admits that the outlook could be grim for the final game of the campaign if he is without Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo, who both picked up knocks against the Hammers.
“If both Rodrigo and Patrick miss out, it is a big ask,” he added. “We may have to play a completely different system. From a defensive point of view, we need to work on keeping Harry Kane and Son [Heung-min] quiet. We had to keep Rodrigo on [the pitch against West Ham] as we were in the game.
“Whether it’s the pressure or a lack of confidence, I’m not sure. The bigger failure in the second half was the quality of the final ball. As a manager, your subs are your impact on your team to get better and sadly that’s something that didn’t work today.”
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