A frustrated Simon Grayson warned that Leeds United’s defensive frailties were threatening to wreck the club’s chance of promotion after a dramatic 3-3 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion.
A goal from Ross McCormack in the second minute of injury-time salvaged a point at The Amex Stadium last night but United’s manager bemoaned the “mindset” of his side after watching them buckle on the back of an outstanding first-half display.
McCormack and Andy Keogh gave Leeds a 2-0 advantage after 45 minutes, against a team who are unbeaten in league fixtures at home, but two efforts from Craig Mackail-Smith and an Ashley Barnes penalty led a spirited recovery from Brighton.
A last-gasp equaliser staved off a demoralising defeat but Grayson levelled criticism at his squad after watching an eighth Championship fixture pass without a clean sheet.
United missed an opportunity to advance into the division’s play-off positions and Grayson said: “We can’t keep coming from behind to salvage points or wins because somewhere down the line we won’t be able to do that.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to beat a good team and you can’t give away leads of 2-0 at half-time. Ultimately it’ll lead to us not being in the play-offs or getting promotion if we continue to do that.
“Whatever permutation I use in the back four, we still seem to concede goals. The mindset that we’ve got among certain individuals and possibly as a team isn’t there in terms of trying to keep sheets with a desire to do that. We seem to have these mental dips and drops in concentration levels.
“We were absolutely cruising in the first half. How we can have such contrasting performances in either half, I don’t know.”