THE end of the season can’t come quick enough for Leeds United.

Player changes look inevitable in the summer for the Whites who slumped to a late 2-1 home defeat by Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday

Paul Heckingbottom has endured a miserable start to life at Elland Road, winning only one of his first eight Championship games in charge.

Leeds have mustered just one victory in 2018 and the former Barnsley boss believes his squad are lacking a winning mentality.

“I sound like a broken record,” said a frustrated Heckingbottom.

“The last couple of games I should be highlighting to the players why we’ve won. Instead I’m going mad at the reasons why we haven’t. They’re both goals we should stop.

“You’ve got to be clinical and take your chances at one end and be ruthless, tight and disciplined at the other.

“The goals we’re conceding are nothing to do with a lack of effort from the players, it’s poor decisions at the wrong time. You’d be disappointed seeing those goals at any level.

“It’s pointless me coming in here making excuses why we’ve not won the game. We all know why we haven't won the game – we didn’t take our chances and gave two poor goals away.”

With Adam Forshaw directing operations in midfield, Leeds played better than in recent weeks but paid for errors at both ends of the pitch.

After former York City loanee Bailey Peacock-Farrell kept out Adam Reach’s early effort, Leeds got on the front foot but bad misses from Caleb Ekuban and Gianni Alioski came back to haunt them.

Both sides were struggling in a drab derby that was low on quality and it seemed destined to drift towards a goalless draw in the swirling snow when the Owls broke the ice after 72 minutes.

Jack Hunt’s right-wing cross was headed against the bar by Reach and Atdhe Nuhiu reacted quickly to stab home the loose ball.

Heckingbottom sent on Jay-Roy Grot for teenage left-back debutant Tom Pearce as Leeds put sustained pressure on the Wednesday defence.

Grot was on the pitch for only ten minutes when he netted his first senior goal for Leeds by heading in Pablo Hernandez’s centre from close range.

If anyone looked like a winner at the stage it was Leeds but man-mountain Nuhui outmuscled Matthew Pennington in stoppage time to move towards goal.

With the Leeds cover absent, he calmly bent the ball beyond Peacock-Farrell.

That secured three precious points for Wednesday, who like Leeds have massively under-achieved this season.

The Hillsborough club can point to a crippling injury list which few sides in the Championship could handle. Leeds don’t have that excuse.

As a club Leeds United may have gone forward but the squad has gone backwards. The new owners have reconnected with the club’s fans and bought back Elland Road but the player recruitment has generally been poor.

“There is quality there but there will be changes in the summer, definitely,” admitted Heckingbottom.

Samuel Saiz, the pick of United’s summer recruits by some distance, missed Saturday’s game with a hamstring problem but it is hoped he will be ready to face Bolton at Elland Road on Good Friday.

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Beradi, Jansson, Pennington, Pearce (Grott 77), O’Kane (Phillips 78), Forshaw, Alioski, Dallas, Hernandez, Ekuban (Lasogga 69). Subs (not used): Wiedwald, Anita, Sacko, Vieira

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Hunt, Lees, Venancio, Pudil, Pelupessy (Fox 90+5), Reach, Hutchinson (Bannon 66), Boyd, Nuhiu, Joao. Subs (not used): Dawson, Jones, Rhodes, Butterfield, Palmer. Cautions: Nuhiu, Hutchinson, Reach, Wildsmith

Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire) Att: 31,638