Daniel Farke backs Georginio Rutter despite Leeds United drawing a blank with Sheffield Wednesday
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A third successive home draw in the Sky Bet Championship saw the Whites held goalless by a Sheffield Wednesday team previously without a point and with the transfer window now shut led to worries over whether Leeds have sufficient firepower to make a promotion challenge.
Farke feels his side are not getting the points return they are deserving, but was happy enough again with the way his players are performing.
He said: “It feels in the first home games of the season it's always the same story, speaking about how we dominated, creating more than enough, leading each statistic.
“The overriding feeling is that we are disappointed. We expected to play against a really deep-sitting opponent that defends and gives everything to block each shot, experienced in game management, time wasting. We spoke about needing the first goal.
“My players created more than enough to win the game. Georginio Rutter one on one, Joel Piroe in a perfect shooting position, Cree Summerville one-on-one, Rutter again one-on-one, Luke Ayling free header six yards out. I could go on.
“Normally it's more than enough to win this game or two games, but if you don't find the first goal it's difficult.”
Expensive signing Rutter, given his chance up front despite the signing of Joel Piroe, fluffed the best of the chances and is still searching for his first goal at Elland Road, but Farke is sticking with the player.
He added: “It's important that he's fit and comes into his rhythm and he proved at Ipswich he's in really good shape.
“As a striker you can't really explain, there are times you find it unbelievably difficult to score and at other times you look at the ball and it goes in.
"I spoke to him and told him the solution is not to overthink too much and when you find it difficult to find the net, don't try to be too artificial. It doesn't have to look great, it just has to find the back of the net.
“For example, he tried the lob, you need to be there with a brutal finish.
“He's still a young lad, a young player and has to develop this attitude. During tough times not to overthink and feel sorry for himself. Go for a clinical, brutal finish. That's what he will learn. All strikers have these periods. We're happy we have him."
Leeds had enough chances to win again, but this was their least effective home performance under Farke so far.
Despite having plenty of possession in the first half they struggled to create much of note.
Unlike at Ipswich the previous week the opposition did not come at the Whites and there was not the same space with a crowded box often making it difficult for Leeds to operate their intricate plays.
They did not help themselves either with poor final balls after getting into space, particularly in the wide areas. And when the chances did come the finishing was poor.
Joel Piroe, who made an underwhelming home debut following his move from Swansea, looked lost at times in a role behind Georginio Rutter, but had the first opportunity after Crysencio Summerville had won the ball high up the pitch. Unfortunately his shot from the edge of the box was hit without power and direction.
Summerville played a neat one-two with Rutter only to shoot over from just inside the box.
The best chance of the half saw Rutter played in by Summerville, but keeper Devis Vasquez came out on top in a one-on-one.
The second half brought more entertainment from the start with Jamie Shackleton - the latest to be tried at left-back - cutting in from the flank to curl a shot just over.
At the other end, Wednesday striker Michael Smith turned in the area to get an angled shot in that Illan Meslier had to save.
The game opened up for a spell as Summerville was played in by Rutter only to see Vasquez save well after being quick off his line and Luke Ayling missed another glorious chance when unmarked at the far post only to mistime his header.
Meslier also had to be smartly off his line to deny Josh Windass while Barry Bannan had a volley easily saved and Smith flicked a header wide.
It summed up Leeds' day when great play by Shackleton and Gnonto set up the unmarked Piroe in the box, but the new boy miscontrolled the ball and did not even get an effort in.
Gnonto then cut in well from the left, but his shot went just past the post.
Wednesday's best chance came on 71 minutes when Callum Paterson was found unmarked in the home box only to blast his shot over.
Leeds had a big shout for a penalty denied by referee Dean Whitestone – who angered home fans on several occasions with his inconsistent decisions and poor timekeeping – when Gnonto went down under a challenge from Dominic Iorfa, who did put hands on the home forward and did not get a touch on the ball.
But they should have gone ahead soon after as Rutter was clean through only to produce a weak finish, hitting the ball straight to the keeper in trying a clever and unnecessary lob.
The match petered out from this point with the Whites huffing and puffing without any threat up front and Farke surprisingly not altering his strikers.
Leeds have now failed to win any of their first three Elland Road matches this season and need to find a solution to their home fortunes after the international break now coming up.
Sheffield Wednesday 0
Saturday, September 2, 2023
Sky Bet Championship
Leeds: Meslier; Ayling (Spence 81), Rodon, Struijk, Shackleton; Ampadu, Gray (Kamara 88); Summerville, Piroe, Gnonto; Rutter.
Wednesday: Vasquez; Bernard, Diaby, Famewo; Paterson (Valentin 89), Byers, Bannan, Delgado; Gregory (Iorfa 66), Windass; Smith (Fletcher 70).
Referee: Dean Whitestone