Leeds United can get out of their current form slump but to do so they will need to shake up their midfield, according to club legend Eddie Gray.

The Yorkshire club have dropped from the top of the Championship to sixth place thanks to a run of three defeats in a row.

After beating Ipswich Town 3-2, losses to Cardiff City, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading have seen Thomas Christiansen’s side slip down the table.

With a trip to fourth-placed Bristol City next up, the Whites need to restore some confidence if they are to avoid a fourth straight defeat.

Gray, who made 577 appearances for the club and then twice took charge as manager, identified the key problems during the 1-0 defeat at the weekend.

“There was a lack of confidence against Reading, I think we could all see that, and the football was too slow,” he told The Yorkshire Evening Post.

“You cause trouble for teams, and in fairness this Leeds side have caused trouble for teams, when you get in behind them but we’re finding that harder to do.”

And Gray believes the midfield is the first area that Christiansen needs to focus on in order to get Leeds back on track.

“For me it comes down how well the players are dominating games. We’re not overpowering teams in the midfield and I think Thomas might have to have a rethink now,” he continued.

“Personally, I think there are times when we need three in the middle of the park – another body to make sure that if it is a battle, we can win it.

“It’s that extra bit of strength and insurance and in my opinion, that means playing (Ronaldo) Vieira.”

Christiansen has so far stuck to playing two central midfielders behind three more attack-minded players and a lone centre-forward.

Against Reading, Kalvin Phillips and Eunan O’Kane were the players trusted with the responsibility in the middle of the park while Vieira was not even on the bench.

Christiansen said he was being rested due to a knee injury but the 19-year-old has barely featured for the club in the league this season.

However, the manager has already proved he is not afraid to make changes if players are not performing by dropping goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald ahead of the Reading match so it is possible Vieira will feature in Bristol on Saturday.

Whether Christiansen heeds Gray’s advice and changes his system from the 4-2-3-1 he has stuck with since the opening day of the season is perhaps less likely.


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