Kevin Phillips has insisted Leeds United stars Dan James and Rodrigo are under “massive pressure” to deliver ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Southampton.
The former Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the duo need to “step up” in the absence of Patrick Bamford and Raphinha.
Speaking in yesterday’s pre-match press conference (October 14th), manager Marcelo Bielsa confirmed Bamford is still out with an ankle injury.
He also cast doubt on the availability of winger Raphinha.
The 24-year-old Brazillian faces a race against time to be available for the match on the south coast after a two-goal performance for Brazil in the early hours of this morning.
The absences of Raphinha and Bamford will be a blow for Bielsa, with the duo having netted more than 57 per cent of Leeds’ league goals so far this term.
Phillips insists the availability problems faced by Leeds United heaps “massive pressure” on James and Rodrigo.
“There’s massive pressure on the shoulders of Dan James and Rodrigo,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.
“James, he’s still young but he’s got the experience. He’s been at a top club.
“Rodrigo has been around the block – he knows the game.
“It’s up to these players, when there are injuries, to step up. Especially in the predicament where Leeds are now, after the fantastic season they had last year.
“Now it’s time for those players to put in performances. I’m sure Marcelo Bielsa will be telling them that ahead of what is a big game against Southampton.”
Leeds United have managed just one win in the league this season after narrowly beating Watford 1-0 last time out.
The Yorkshire club currently sit 16th in the table.
In other news, Leeds United have been handed a boost ahead tomorrow’s game.