Leeds are feeling the heat
Paddy Davitt Leeds United boss Simon Grayson admits his men are feeling the heat from Norwich City's League One title surge. The Canaries were 11 points adrift after losing at Elland Road on October 19.
Leeds United boss Simon Grayson admits his men are feeling the heat from Norwich City's League One title surge.
The Canaries were 11 points adrift after losing at Elland Road on October 19.
But Paul Lambert's side now have a three point cushion at the top ahead of tomorrow's Carrow Road tussle against Hartlepool.
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Grayson locked his under-performing players in the away dressing room after Leeds crashed 3-0 at Swindon on Tuesday while Norwich were staging a thrilling late comeback at Walsall.
The Leeds manager revealed he spelt out a few home truths in the wake of watching his side extend their winless league run to three matches.
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Leeds have now taken just one league point since the turn of the year and Grayson is under no illusions recent FA Cup heroics disguise a worrying downturn.
Grayson's side still have two games in hand on the Canaries but the Leeds chief has sounded a rallying cry to his troops ahead of their scheduled Carrow Road shoot-out in March.
“We are going through a bad period in the league, but it's important that we stick together,” he said. “The thing is we are second in the division and nothing is won at this stage of the season. Every team in the country goes through a run of results that you don't need, but it's those that have leaders and grafters, and personalities, that bring the team through. And we have people like that in our dressing room. Hopefully now we've learnt our lessons and we'll go and do the right things that have got us where we are.”
Grayson labelled his side's midweek Swindon mauling a massive wake-up call.
“They seemed to want it more than us, they ran further than us, they tackled more than us,” he said.
“There are many reasons why we didn't do as well as we could have, but we have to get back to being hard to beat. Now we're giving goals away too easily as a unit, and hopefully it's a major kick up the backside for one or two that we need to get back on track.
“I was angry at half-time, but at the end I gave them an opportunity to say what they think.
“We had a chat and it's important what's said is taken on board for the rest of the season. We have not been doing the thing we were at the start of the season and that is not acceptable. They started the game the better and we conceded early on and we were playing the wrong way at times, but I am confident we can turn it around.”
Grayson is threatening to ring the changes ahead of this weekend's latest Elland Road test against play-off chasing Colchester.
“I'm sure players will be looking over their shoulders to see what we're going to do,” he said. “Nobody would be surprised if we make changes, but I'll be rational because up until four games ago we've been doing a lot right this season.
“We have to make sure this is a blip and we don't have any more performances like Tuesday. We haven't had any spells like this so far this season and we have to get back on track, starting at the weekend.”