'Four or five of them' - Troy Deeney rips into Leeds United players after play-off final defeat

Troy Deeney has criticised Leeds United's players following their Championship play-off final defeat to Southampton.

The Whites suffered a sixth defeat in the knockout format in their first appearance at Wembley since their League One play-off final defeat to Doncaster Rovers 16 years ago. Having started brightly, Adam Armstrong was picked out by Will Smallbone and finished into the far corner to give the Saints the lead.

Daniel Farke 's side continued to push for the equaliser, with Daniel James going closest having seen his effort rattle off the crossbar with Alex McCarthy well beaten. But despite their best efforts, the Yorkshire club travel back to LS11 knowing second tier football is on the cards once again next term.

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Speaking to Sky Sports at full time, Deeney accused some of United's squad of not showing enough respect towards their opponents, likening it to his own Wembley experiences.

"When I look at Leeds over the last month, they have flattered to deceive," Deeney said. "When you want your big players and your leaders to step up, they went missing.

"I am not going to name names, but you stand here and you can see how people react after. I have lost here 6-0 to Man City, that was a drubbing.

"You have got to stand there, in a line, clap your opponents (and say) 'well done, the better team won'. Show a bit of humility, a bit of respect."

Former Leeds manager Neil Warnock was alongside Deeney on punditry duty for the match and questioned the 35-year-old as to who the leaders were among the Leeds squad. Deeney questioned some of the Leeds players attitude, saying: "Four or five of them over the other side, laughing and joking.

"I'd say the lads who are not playing, Pat Bamford, Liam Cooper, people of that ilk. There was a moment in the game today where one of their players who should have been in the box was the second furthest man back in the 97th minute when you are trying to win.

"Now, that says to me you don't want the pressure of 'this chance could fall to me'. The responsibility, because if you miss then people are going to question you.

"But if you don't do anything, people that are in the game like us question it. And I question where some of these are at, it felt like three or four of those players were playing this game for them and it was, 'I am probably not going to be here next year, so let's show how good I am'."

Warnock continued the conversation by praising Southampton, admitting they were the better side on the afternoon. The 75-year-old also picked out the key moment he felt the Leeds manager knew that it was not meant to be for the Yorkshire club.

"When (Daniel) James hit the cross bar, I looked down at Daniel (Farke) and I think he knew," he said. "I think he knew it is not going to be today and he shouldn't batter himself because he has done a brilliant job.

"He's a lovely man and I think he's a good manager. The best team won today, tactically, but like you say he's got younger lads.

"No chance for the goalie and any other way and it just goes in but that's football, it's a different game and they're on top. You just ned a bit of luck, a referee decision the smallest thing."