Will the real Leeds United please stand up?
Superb all over the pitch one week, just as awful the next, it is very much a case of one step forward, one step back this season with the lack of consistency now baffling the latest head coach Neil Redfearn.
United followed their 2-0 victory over Sky Bet Championship leaders Derby with a 4-1 surrender at Ipswich – and that after they were given the perfect start with a goal from Mirco Antenucci within four minutes.
Admittedly Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys are developing into genuine promotion contenders with their uncomplicated brand of competitive football. But they were given a helping hand with some of Leeds’ defending and it was not the first time the Whites have travelled bearing gifts this season.
Redfearn admitted his concern at United’s away performances.
He said: “I think it’s down to belief. At home we’re getting it right. When the players go out at home they expect to win. But away from home you can see the difference.
“We’re getting the home form right, picking up points, but this performance wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t acceptable.
“We’re going to have off-days but when we do have an off-day, it can’t be so dramatic. There can’t be so much in it. We’ve got to start getting our away performances right.
“It was like we were waiting for the opposition to come back into it when what we needed to do was grasp the nettle and take them by the throat. We’ve got a side who are capable of doing that. It’s disappointing.
“Ipswich are a good side, they are second in the table for a reason. You can’t come to places like Ipswich Town and give sides a leg-up – but that’s what we did.
“We had a great start and I thought we looked quite bright. And then for whatever reason we take our foot off the pedal and we don’t defend properly.
“But that’s been a story throughout the season away from home and it’s something I’ve inherited – but something we’ve got to put right if we’re going to be a force.
“It’s a young side and we’re going to make mistakes, I appreciate that, but we can’t perform like that away from home and hope to keep clean sheets.”
Redfearn will be relieved that Leeds are back at home this Saturday when they face another side finding it hard to get some consistency in Fulham.
After a poor start to the campaign the Londoners looked to be picking up with the appointment of Kit Symons as manager, but were hammered 5-0 at home by Watford last Friday and remain a point and two places below Leeds in 18th place.
They still possess a side with a number of star names left over from their Premierships days as well as their £11m capture from Leeds, Ross McCormack, who will be making his first return to Elland Road since leaving in the summer and will no doubt be keen to show the home fans what they have been missing.
Leeds may have Giuseppe Bellusci back in defence after he was injured for the Ipswich trip and Redfearn could look to beef up the midfield with a starting spot for Rudy Austin.