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Javi Gracia makes Georginio Rutter claim as he weighs up Leeds United shortcoming

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Leeds United fell to defeat against Fulham in the FA Cup last night, losing 2-0 despite Javi Gracia‘s side creating the better of the chances.

Two stunning strikes from Joao Palhinha and Manor Solomon were the difference on the night at Craven Cottage, as Fulham progressed to the quarter-finals.

Leeds had a goal for Georginio Rutter controversially disallowed at 0-0 but were toothless for much of the night in attack.

Rodrigo is out for the foreseeable future, and the Whites have not looked strong in front of goal since his injury. In Gracia’s first two games in charge they have managed one solo strike against Southampton.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 28: Georginio Rutter of Leeds United reacts during the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Fulham and Leeds United at Craven Cottage on February 28, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Speaking in his post-match press conference (via Leeds Live) Gracia outlined that there is the possibility to use both Patrick Bamford and Rutter in attack together as a front two pairing.

Asked whether Rutter could play as a lone striker, Gracia said: “I think he’s one option. I think he can play better as a second forward or with two, in my opinion that’s the best position for Georginio.

“In this game we didn’t have for example other players for centre-back, we didn’t have other player for striker and we tried to manage as well as possible.”

Gracia believes Leeds had the better chances on the night but lacked the composure to finish, he added: “In this moment I’m really disappointed. In my opinion we were a little bit unlucky. We created many chances. We were not clinical. We didn’t finish with composure.”

Acccording to Phil Hay of The Athletic, Gracia said it was something they would “actively work on” in training.

Goals keep you up, and in Leeds’ predicament that is what is required at present.

The Whites looked out of sorts in attack, despite being the better of the two teams and creating enough chances to win. Every decisive moment is too rushed and lacks calmness currently. Two strikers may help, but Leeds also need to work on their finishing in general.

Perhaps the types of chances the side create are too chaotic and frantic? That is certainly something Gracia and his coaching team need to figure out.

The Premier League and survival is the focus now for his side. They need solutions in attack, and fast.

Was 2-0 Fulham a fair result?

Yes

Yes

No

No

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  • Liam says:

    Thought we played a lot better than we have been. But also thought that kristensen and Adams were not good.
    Just one bit of advice for our forwards. Take a shot at goal .Walking the ball into the net is not going to happen for us.
    This shows lack of confidence to shoot at goal. This is what needs working on. We need to beat Chelsea and with a bit more confidence I think we will.

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