Killer instinct of matchwinner Sammie Szmodics lacking for Leeds – Daniel Farke

Ireland international’s late goal was his 30th of the season as Rovers move clear of relegation zone

Championship: Leeds United 0 Blackburn Rovers 1

Daniel Farke admitted the killer instinct of Blackburn’s Irish international forward Sammie Szmodics was lacking from his Leeds side after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat dealt a blow to their automatic promotion hopes.

Leeds dominated the Championship encounter at Elland Road but could not turn possession into goals.

Farke’s side remain third in the table when a win would have seen them seize the initiative from top two Leicester and Ipswich.

Farke said: “When you face a side like Blackburn with a player like Szmodics, he showed the quality which we didn’t show today and he needed just one chance to score.

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“So many balls went through the box, but you also need to show the quality to put the ball in the net.

“If you don’t score you have so much more risk. There is also a danger there will be one moment for your opponent and they can score. It’s pretty disappointing and frustrating for us.

“We didn’t put the ball into the net. If you don’t score, you can’t win the game.”

Despite his players missing the chance to steal a march on their rivals, Farke refused to put the blame on them.

He said: “It’s up to me if we don’t score – to find solutions. I have to work with them so that in the next game we create more chances.

“It’s up to us in training to work on our efficiency and create more chances. Today we have created more than enough chances to score. I’m not the guy to point the finger at the players when we don’t score.

“If a team fights to survive and fights against relegation, if they try to annoy us with time wasting and whatever, it’s nothing that I can influence.”

Szmodics dealt the killer blow with a cool finish eight minutes from time as the visitors went route one.

Sam Gallagher headed on a long ball from Aynsley Pears before Tyrhys Dolan turned and fed Szmodics and he did the rest with a composed finish past Illan Meslier.

The Leeds goalkeeper had saved from Szmodics with Blackburn’s only effort of the first period, while Pears had saved from Crysencio Summerville, Wilfried Gnonto and Connor Roberts as the home side failed to make their dominance pay.

Blackburn head coach John Eustace was full of praise for his side.

He said: “I was very proud of the effort the boys have given me since I came in, it has been outstanding.

“To come here and play like we did was great. We had a game plan without the ball. I am delighted with the effort and very proud of them.”

Blackburn bounced back from a 5-0 defeat at Bristol City in midweek and that resilience was what pleased Eustace the most.

He added: “Wednesday was a bit of a blip. That certainly wasn’t a team that I have been a part of. We have been very difficult to beat.

“It’s very important that we keep working hard, sticking together. We have three games left and we still need points.”

Eustace praised Szmodics, adding: “Sammie, without his goals this season, we really would have been in trouble. The rest of the group have created those chances for him.

“Since I’ve been here he has been magnificent. To score 30 goals in the Championship is a fantastic effort.”

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