Leeds started as big favourites to reach the fourth round of the competition as they looked to go on a cup run, with a comfortable start to life in the Premier League well away from the danger zone leaving room to focus more on the FA Cup.
Goals in the 50th, 53rd and 70th minutes for the hosts though were met without an answer by Leeds and the Whites exited the FA Cup at the third round stage.
Leeds played winger Jack Harrison up top after bringing off Rodrigo and former Whites star Whelan thinks the lack of striking options was clearly on display at Crawley.
“[Putting] Harrison through the middle just reflects that we don’t have enough firepower in our side”, Whelan said post match on BBC Radio Leeds.
“If we are having to put Harrison through the middle and take Rodrigo off, who is a number 10 and not an out and out striker in my opinion, then we don’t have enough centre-forwards at the club.
“You’re putting round pegs in square holes again. It just does not make sense to me.”
Leeds only have one senior out and out striker on the books at the club in the shape of Patrick Bamford if Rodrigo is classed as a number 10.
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