The gaping holes in the squad that has served us so well over the past few years showed themselves again in all their glory at Tottenham on Sunday.

With Raphinha and Rodrigo the latest names on the absent list, it only served to underline how short we are when we have injuries and illness in the camp.

I thought we were excellent in the first half and there were even some throwbacks to the attacking verve that we saw on a regular basis last season. We got the goal we deserved and maybe could have had a second, but the second half was different gravy.

Tottenham stepped things up a gear and whereas they had been over-run by blue shirts in the first half, we just didn’t have the answers. The press wasn’t as effective and once they got their second goal with 20 minutes still left there was only going to be one outcome.

In a way, Sunday was best summed up not by what happened on the pitch, but by looking at things off it. The Tottenham bench included Dele Alli, Steven Bergwijn, Matt Doherty, Tanguy Ndombele, Joe Roden, Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon. Quality. Compare that with our subs bench. You can’t.

That’s no disrespect to the lads who were on the bench for Leeds on Sunday, but while clubs like Tottenham can call upon quality players to change games, win games, or simply see them out, we just don’t have that depth.

Our squad size is being horribly exposed at the moment and our options for change are a bit like being handed a water pistol in a full-blooded war. When we got relegated from the Premier League in 2004 people said we had a good first team, but once you lose a few players from that you need quality to come in. And that’s where we are coming up way short.

I heard new Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder talking about substitutes last weekend and he described them as “game finishers” not subs, because he said you needed players on the bench who can come on and give you that something, whether it’s quality to try and find a goal, or experience to see a game out. Very true words.

The January transfer window is notoriously tough because players have inflated price tags and have to come straight into a team that is already at a certain fitness level and used to playing with each other. It’s a far from ideal time to do business – that’s why I don’t subscribe to the Newcastle will buy themselves out of trouble theory – but Leeds are in a bit of a corner this time around, and January does offer the potential for a route out.

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