Neil Redfearn admitted that Leeds United’s away form had become a major concern after a torrid afternoon at Ipswich Town.
A display of few chances and abject defending ended in a 4-1 hammering on Saturday, leading Redfearn to bemoan his side’s fragile confidence away from Elland Road.
Leeds have been vulnerable on the road throughout 2014, winning only three away fixtures, and all but five of the points accrued in the Championship this season have come at home.
Redfearn’s reign as head coach took a turn for the better nine days ago as United outclassed Championship leaders Derby County at Elland Road but Leeds were easily beaten by Ipswich, despite taking the lead after only three minutes at Portman Road.
Redfearn 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.”
Mirco Antenucci gave United an early advantage with a goal after three minutes but Ipswich, who are second in the Championship and a point behind Derby, replied quickly
through a Daryl Murphy header and were 3-1 ahead by half-time.
Christophe Berra’s tap-in immediately after the interval put the result beyond doubt.
United’s only away win this season came at Bournemouth in September and an eighth league defeat pushed the club down to 16th in the Championship table.
“We started well, our system was causing them a problem, we got ourselves in front but from that point we had to be more resolute,” said Redfearn.
“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.”