Brentford 1 Leeds United 1: I got it wrong, admits Evans

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Steve Evans held his hands up to a tactical error in the first half but insisted Leeds United had been unlucky to leave London with a point after a 1-1 draw with Brentford.

An 84th-minute goal from substitute Mustapha Carayol averted defeat at Griffin Park after a change of formation early in the second period helped Leeds fight back from Sam Saunders’ strike. Brentford went ahead on 28 minutes when Saunders found the net from 20 yards and Evans conceded that his decision to start two strikers and name new signing Toumani Diagouraga on the bench had backfired on a wet and windy evening.

Mustapha Carayol turns to Lewis Cook to celebrate his equaliser.

Mustapha Carayol turns to Lewis Cook to celebrate his equaliser.

Carayol, however, forced a deserved draw with a neat finish, moving Leeds up to 14th in the Championship and 10 points away from the play-off zone.

Evans, who claimed Leeds should have been awarded a penalty for a second-half foul on Mirco Antenucci, said: “The weather made it tough but it doesn’t excuse our passing. We didn’t seem to perform at any level in the first half.

“We changed the shape of the team early in the second half, changed the personnel, and I think we go away disappointed not to have won the game.

“My striker Antenucci was smashed in the box. In any other game that’s a penalty kick, unless you’re Leeds United. We’re disappointed with a point, despite a poor first 45 minutes.

“Brentford were passing it around us in the first half and we had to change the system. I picked the system but I wasn’t silly so I changed it at half-time. The second half was the real positive for us.

“If I’m being honest, we got our shape wrong in the first half and our tempo wasn’t good. In the second half we stood up and I’m really proud of the players. To pin Brentford back like they did was a credit to them.”

Evans recalled Chris Wood to his starting line-up but saw the striker limp off after just 19 minutes with a recurrence of his recent hamstring problem.

The forward’s condition will be assessed today.

Leeds United director of football Victor Orta. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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