Break is timely for out of form Leeds United

Brian McDermott, looking angry on the sidelines at Derby.
Brian McDermott, looking angry on the sidelines at Derby.

The latest international break has come at a good time for Leeds United, according to manager Brian McDermott.

United do not return to action until Sunday week and after another away defeat last Saturday left the Whites down in 14th place in the Sky Bet Championship a bit of a breather could just what the doctor ordered for the players to clear their heads.

McDermott intends to make sure the time off is put to good use as Leeds look to “draw breath” in his words and turn their season round again after five defeats in their last six matches.

Amd after initially looking so solid away from home they have suddenly lost four times on their travels and are looking a little leaky while also struggling to score goals themselves.

There are certainly plenty of problems for the manager to solve and his tinkering with systems in the last few games does not look to have found the answers.

The biggest problem remains up front with the out of form Noel Hunt surprisingly chosen in the last two games without any success. Luke Varney has proved willing, but lacks the necessary goals while Matt Smith is a work in progress and has not been given many chances to start games as yet.

But McDermott was also unhappy with the defending in their 3-1 defeat at Derby County last Saturday – a result that made it an incredible 10 losses on the trot against the Rams.

He said: “You are disappointed when you lose the first goals which we have done too many times this season.

“In the last two games away from home we have let ourselves down, but before I turned up here I think we had 21 games away from home and won one.”

He added: “We need to get a mentality away from home where we are very difficult to play against and we weren’t. This has recurred too many times, giving away the first goal and it’s something we need to look at.

“We played a lot of football in the middle of the pitch, but you are judged on what you do in both boxes and we weren’t good enough in both boxes.”

McDermott added: “We need a winning mentality. When I was at Reading two years ago we hardly had any points on the board after 10 games and we just clicked into place and worked on that.

“We’ve had that conversation in the dressing room and talked about that mentality and it’s not about hoping you will get a result, it’s knowing you will get a result and that’s where we have to get to.”

Leeds have three players on international duty for World Cup qualifiers with Ross McCormack called up by Scotland, Paul Green in the Republic of Ireland squad and Rudy Austin playing for Jamaica.