NEIL REDFEARN says Leeds United must address their crippling away form and fast if they are to make an impact at Championship level this term in the wake of the deflating 4-1 defeat at Ipswich Town.
The United head coach acknowledged that his side were the architects of their downfall after producing a fitful defensive performance after Mirco Antenucci had handed them a dream start with fourth minute opener.
Daryl Murphy, a thorn for the United backline all game, levelled with a clinical header eight minutes later and David McGoldrick fired them in front from the spot on 26 minutes after Stephen Warnock clumsily sent Paul Anderson tumbling in the box, with Redfearn having no dispute with the award.
The killer third arrived just before Leeds were moments away from the sanctuary of half-time, with Murphy slotting home his 13th goal of the campaign, with his low shot going through the body of Marco Silvestri.
Christophe Berra added a fourth early in the second half to end the game as a meaningful contest after more meek defending from Leeds, who have picked up just one away Championship win this term.
On United crashing back down to earth after their fine 2-0 victory over leaders Derby last weekend, Redfearn said: “It has been a tough day for us. They are a good side and what you can’t afford to do is give good sides a leg-up.
“That is exactly what we did. You look at the first half and we had a great start and looked quite bright and took our goal well. And then, for whatever reason, we took our foot off the pedal and don’t defend properly.
“That has been the story throughout the season away from home. It is something I have inherited, but something we have got to put right if we are going to be a force and challenge and progress this season.
“We have got to start to address the form away from home.
“You cannot come to places like Ipswich and defend like we did. Even at 2-1, I was thinking: ‘If we can get in at 2-1 at half-time with a minute to go, we could try and do something to turn it around.’ But then they got their third goal.
“We just gave ourselves a mountain to climb.’
“We have to be far more resolute. We are a young side and I appreciate we are going to make mistakes. But we cannot perform like that away from home and expect to keep clean sheets.”
On whether he issued some strong words in the dressing room following the final whistle, he said: “They know how I am. I highlighted the problems we had and the lads know in no uncertain terms.
“But I think the thing is now not so much pointing things out, it is the answers we need. How are we going to solve this. We need to solve this because obviously we have been in good positions away from home a goal up and for whatever reason, it has not quite happened (after that).
“We have got to really think about this. It is character building and the young lads are going to have to grow with it.”