Neil Redfearn is confident that Leeds United will turn the corner by beating Blackpool at Elland Road and taking advantage of the international break which follows tomorrow’s game.
Redfearn urged his team to be “brave” against a struggling Blackpool side and draw a line under an unflattering run of eight league games without a victory.
Leeds have not recorded a win in the Championship since September 22 and the club’s new head coach is anxious to end their patch of poor form.
United are two points above the relegation places but they will meet the division’s bottom club tomorrow, a side with huge problems after a dreadful start to the season.
Blackpool have lost 11 of their 16 league games and a 2-2 draw away to Fulham on Wednesday registered their sixth point of the term.
Tangerines boss Lee Clark was full of praise for his side’s performance after they had skipper Tony McMahon sent off after 41 minutes.
And Redfearn said it would dangerous to underestimate a club with “nothing to lose and everything to gain” but he admitted that a win was essential tomorrow and claimed it would depend on Leeds’ ability to cope with the pressure and play their normal game.
“It’s a tough match,” Redfearn said. Blackpool aren’t in a great situation but they’re in a situation where there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“Everyone can look at the table and see that they’re bottom but they’ve got a new manager (Lee Clark), they’ve brought in four or five players and they’re playing differently now. They’re decent.
“But we need a win to kick-start our season and we’ve got to get back into that mindset.
“It’s got to start with a win and it’s got to start somewhere.
“The players can’t go out and feel nervous tomorrow.
“If we forget to play then it’s going to cause us a problem.
“We’re at our best when we get the ball down, pass it around and open people up. We’ve got to brave.”
United’s best spell of the season came during Redfearn’s short time as caretaker, in between the sacking of David Hockaday and the appointment of Darko Milanic.
Redfearn said he had been helped in that period by a two-week international break falling after his first match – a 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers on August 30 – and he believes the interlude which follows tomorrow’s fixture will give his players a chance to “regroup”.
“With hindsight, in my caretaker spell we had the benefit of playing Bolton and then going through the international break,” said Redfearn, who is taking charge of his third game as permanent Leeds boss this weekend.
“We did a lot of work in that time and it culminated in wins against Bournemouth and Huddersfield.
That was a telling factor and we’re at that point again now.
“It’s a good time for us to regroup. We have to put things back in place and I want to see improvement. But I know we have to get wins.
“That’s important too.”