Kiko Casilla: Leeds goalkeeper needs a rest after Brentford error, says Jermaine Beckford
By Calum Wilson
Last Updated: 12/02/20 1:11pm
Marcelo Bielsa should drop goalkeeper Kiko Casilla in order to rebuild his confidence after recent mistakes, according to former striker Jermaine Beckford.
Casilla was at fault for Brentford's opening goal in the 1-1 draw at Griffin Park on Tuesday after failing to control a simple back-pass.
The Spaniard has failed to keep a clean sheet since December 13, conceding 20 league goals in that time.
Asked if Casilla should be dropped, Beckford told Sky Sports News: "Yes, I think so. Players should be playing on form and that's something I'm a firm believer in.
"That mistake could have happened to anyone but if you look at the last six or seven games he has been well out of form.
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"Maybe a little bit of complacency has snuck in because he got used to playing week in, week out regardless of whether he is pushing himself to the limit."
Casilla made a permanent move to Leeds in January last year, joining on a four-and-a-half-year deal from Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The 32-year-old had made 17 appearances for Real in the previous season and has a Champions League winner's medal.
"There is no doubting he is a very talented goalkeeper," Beckford added.
"I just think he might need a rest to let the pressure drop on somebody else's shoulders for a couple of games.
"His confidence has been shot and the manager knows that but it is difficult to drop your highest earners.
"[He can] get his confidence back and get the hunger back as well and then put him back in the squad."
'Augustin will be a hit'
Beckford, who scored 84 times in 147 appearances for Leeds, has backed the club's newest striker Jean-Kevin Augustin to be a success at Elland Road.
The loan signing has been limited to two substitute appearances so far, with Bielsa admitting earlier this week that he has experienced "difficulties" with the 22-year-old.
"I'm glad Leeds made a signing and it was a forward," Beckford said. "I'm quite surprised it wasn't someone who is fit and experienced in the Championship.
"Augustin is going to be a hit. He's very direct and powerful but he doesn't quite look up to Bielsa's standards in terms of fitness levels or body shape.
"Every movement he makes is straight into the middle of the field and that is completely different to Patrick Bamford.
"[They] desperately need it. I would love to see the two of them [Augustin and Bamford] playing together."
Tuesday's draw means Leeds have won two of their last 11 league games and are three points behind leaders West Brom, who travel to Reading on Wednesday live on Sky Sports Football via the red button.
Leeds have scored just five times in their previous eight matches in all competitions and Beckford believes Patrick Bamford needs more support.
"It is about being ruthless in front of goal," Beckford said. "The biggest thing for Leeds at the moment is to let Patrick Bamford continue doing what he is doing but you have to get goals around him.
"In the final third, I think they need to express themselves a little bit more. Don't be afraid to have a shot and miss.
"There is a lot of pressure on being a number nine at Leeds because the expectation levels are huge.
"You have to release that pressure before you step onto the pitch otherwise it will consume you."