Former Southampton captain Dean Hammond has criticised Saints defender Jan Bednarek for his defending in the lead-up to Leeds United’s winner on Saturday, 25th February.
Southampton faced Leeds at Elland Road in their first match under the permanent management of Ruben Selles. They went into the match looking to build on their win against Chelsea.
However, things did not go according to plan for the Saints in Yorkshire on Saturday. They succumbed to a disappointing 1-0 loss, with Junior Firpo netting the winner.
Bednarek, who struggled on the afternoon, did not cover himself in glory with his defence in the lead-up to the goal. He seemingly made himself smaller in front of goal as Firpo took a shot with his weaker foot.
Hammond has now explained that he was left confused by what Bednarek was trying to do. The former Southampton captain suggested that the Pole appeared to be concerned about scoring another own goal as he did against Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this month.
"“It’s difficult, but you have to question Jan Bednarek. I’m not sure what he’s doing”, Hammond said on Southampton’s The Final Whistle podcast.“Once the Leeds player cuts back inside on his weaker foot, he’s got to react and try and put some more pressure on the ball.”“Personally, I think he’s a little bit worried about maybe a deflection and scoring another own goal because he’s had experiences of that.”“So, he’s just trying to just tall, but he kind of twists his body away and doesn’t really make any attempt to block the ball.”"
Bednarek has started in each of the Saints’ last four league matches. However, there are concerns about his ability to start regularly.
Southampton face Grimsby Town next
Selles and Co. will be determined to return to winning ways when they return to action next. They are scheduled to face League Two club Grimsby Town in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday, 1st March.
The Hampshire-based club will then lock horns with Leicester City in the league on 4th March.