Leeds have confirmed that winger Ezgjan Alioski will miss the remainder of the season with a torn meniscus.
The Macedonia international was forced off after just 12 minutes of their 2-0 defeat at Brentford on Easter Monday.
“That doesn’t mean Kalvin Phillips couldn’t have played in a game like this and it doesn’t mean Adam Forshaw can’t play against two number nines. But in the second half of the game against Wigan, Forshaw’s performance convinced me and I decided to put him in.”
Alioski is due to have surgery, ruling him out of the final two rounds of Championship games and the play-offs, should Leeds be involved in them.
“He has shown his quality throughout the year. He is a popular figure who always puts his team-mates first and sets an example for the younger players.”
Alioski, who joined Leeds from Lugano in 2017, has featured in every one of their 47 games this season, scoring seven goals, and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.
Leeds are third in the table, three points behind second-placed Sheffield United, and play in-form Aston Villa at home on Sunday before travelling to relegated Ipswich on 5 May.
Neal Maupay and Sergi Canos scored lovely goals as Brentford all but ended Leeds hopes of automatic promotion with a ruthless display of counter-attacking
Pablo Hernandez wipes the tears as he walks off the field. Leeds players look pretty devastated, and you wonder how this will affect their morale going into the play-offs.
Maupay struck on the stroke of half-time before Canos’ 62nd-minute finish left Leeds to contemplate the prospect of a play-off campaign.
We enjoyed that game, it was a pleasure to play. We were confident that we could create chances and we did that really well. I had some messages from my old team-mates at Norwich telling me to score, so Im pleased for them as well.
Peep peep! Its far from mathematically certain, but trust me, Norwich and Sheffield United will be playing Premier League football next season. Leeds second defeat in four days has left them facing the peculiar misery of the play-offs. They had the better chances in the first hour of the game, and were denied a clear penalty at 0-0, but Brentfords blood ran colder in the final third and they scored two lovely goals through Neal Maupay and Sergi Canos.
90+2 min Bamfords shot on the turn is blocked at the expense of another corner. Leeds, to their credit, are not going quietly.
89 min Harrisons curling free-kick from the left clears everyone in the centre and drifts out of play.
87 min Bielsa is growling at one of his players, Hernandez I think. This has been a grim Easter for Leeds.
83 min Leeds are running out of time. They need at least a draw to maintain any realistic chance of automatic promotion.
79 min Watkins is booked for diving in the Leeds area. I think thats a good decision from the referee, although its hard to be certain either way. He was challenged just inside the area by Forshaw and went over. At first I thought it was a penalty; now Im not so sure.
75 min Leeds have had more possession, more shots and more corners. But, although it wont appear in any statistical breakdown of the game, Brentford have had much more ruthlessness.
71 min: Canos almost scores a brilliant goal! Janvier made a fine interception in the Brentford area, and moments later they were on the edge of the Leeds box. Canoss twinkle toes took him past Forshaw and through on Casilla, helped by a superb off-the-ball run from Maupay that distracted Cooper. Canos eschewed the simple finish from eight yards and tried to dance round Casilla, who did very well to dive and push the ball away.
67 min Having seen a couple of replays, Im not sure Ayling did get the ball so that should probably have been a penalty to Brentford. It was nowhere near as clear and obvious as the Leeds appeal at 0-0, mind you.
Manager Marcelo Bielsa reacts on the touchline. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images Updated at 6.52pm BST
65 min That could have been 3-0 to Brentford! Canoss shot was blocked, and then Maupays scissor kick went just over the bar. There was also a penalty appeal for a challenge by Ayling on Watkins just before, though I think he got the ball.
64 min Leeds make their final substitution: Jack Clarke replaces Pontus Jansson, so Forshaw will move into defence.
It was another neat goal. Jeanvier won the ball near the halfway line and found Watkins on the left. He ran through Jansson, benefitting from a favourable ricochet, and shoved the ball infield to Maupay on the edge of the area. Maupay pushed a short through pass to Canos, who made a fine run and dinked the ball over Casilla from close range.
Sergi Canos celebrates scoring his sides second goal. Photograph: Ian Walton/PA Updated at 6.49pm BST
60 min Sawyers fouls Forshaw 25 yards from goal after another excellent high press from Leeds. Hernandez is over the ball…
59 min Cant agree re: playing pretty well, says Eamonn OSullivan. At any rate, winning ugly is better than losing pretty at this stage of the season.
57 min Another chance for Leeds! Hernandez plays a penetrative angled pass to release Roberts on the right, and he drills a low cross that is palmed away at the near post by the diving Daniels. The ball comes to Bamford, who cant make space for a shot in a crowded area.
Frustration for Patrick Bamford. Photograph: Nigel Keene/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock Updated at 6.50pm BST
55 min Playing like a bunch of lads with no confidence, says Eamonn OSullivan. Passing is awful. Cant lose this one.
You think? Theyve played pretty well to my eyes, though I suspect Im nowhere near as Leeds-literate as you.
54 min Leeds have been superb in the first 10 minutes of the second half. The game is beautifully set up now, because Brentford are very happy playing on the counter-attack.
53 min Bamford heads over the bar from six yards, although hed been rightly penalised for a push on Konsa.
52 min Hey Rob, says J.R. in Illinois. Youve got to admire the Mike Dean-esque dismissive finger wag which Keith Stroud employed on that stone cold, stonewall, lock-tight penalty in the first half. It must be nice to be so sure of yourself. Me, Im riddled with self-doubt.
51 min After some good build-up play by Leeds, Bamford sprays a slightly selfish shot high and wide from the edge of the area.
49 min Leeds have started the second half with ferocious intent. Jeez, Id love to get a private rollocking from Bielsa.
47 min A defensive clearance is picked up by Hernandez, who shoots high and wide from 15 yards. For a player of his class, that was a chance.
46 min Dallas sets the Leeds agenda for the second half with a driving run and rising shot from 20 yards that is touched over the bar by Daniels.
Peep peep! Leeds missed a number of chances – and were denied a clear and obvious penalty – before Neal Maupays arrogant finish put Brentford ahead just before half-time. Leeds simply cannot afford a defeat here; cant really afford a draw either. See you in 10 minutes for the second half.
45+2 min Roberts misses a fine chance to bring Leeds level, scuffing wide of the far post from 12 yards. Leeds have missed some great chances in this half.
The goal came from nowhere, though it was a quite majestic finish. Brentford had a throw-in deep in their own half; four touches later they were ahead. And one of those was the throw-in. It was hurled forward to Canos, who controlled the ball neatly and sliced Leeds open with an excellent through pass. Maupay marched onto the ball, finally reaching it at the edge of the D, and stabbed an insouciant curling shot past the outrushing Casilla. That was a lovely first-time finish, although it was brought to you in association with crap defending. There was nobody near Canos, and Maupay had a huge gap in which to run.
42 min Klich curls a good effort from 25 yards that drifts a few yards wide of the angle of post and bar.
41 min A draw would be a bad result for Leeds, though not a terminal one. A defeat, realistically, would leave them needing snookers to finish in the top two.
39 min More supreme skill from Canos. He receives a short pass on the right edge of the area and drags his studs over the ball to move infield, away from Ayling. Then he hits a curling left-footed shot towards the far corner that is flapped behind by the diving Casilla. It wasnt right in the corner so it was a save he would usually make; nonetheless, it was lovely play from Canos.
38 min Rob, says Graeme Stone. Nothing will ever top this exhaustive collection of everything good about L**ds United.
37 min Canos hammers a superb crossfield pass to Watkins, who tries to control and come inside Dallas in the same movement. Dallas does well to head behind for a corner. Nothing comes of it.
33 min Lovely play from Canos, who roasts Ayling on the left and tees up the underlapping Henry, whose shot is deflected over the bar by Cooper.