Michael Brown said Leeds United were showing signs of emerging from a “problem month” after slipping to a cruel defeat to Championship leaders Leicester City.
A late tap-in from David Nugent inflicted a fifth-straight loss on Leeds on Saturday but Brown took encouragement from a strong display by Brian McDermott’s under-pressure squad. United paid for wasting a string of chances in the first half, with new captain Ross McCormack hitting a post and denied by Kasper Schmeichel when one-on-one with the City goalkeeper, and Nugent claimed the only goal of the game two minutes from time.
The forward’s finish extended a run of defeats for Leeds which now stretches back to December 29 but both Brown and his manager were reassured by United’s response to a 6-0 hammering at Sheffield Wednesday seven days earlier.
McDermott made significant changes to his team ahead of Saturday, replacing former captain Rudy Austin with McCormack and revising his line-up and formation for the visit of Leicester.
Brown said: “We’ve had a real problem month but we as players have to put that right. It’s a shame the result didn’t go our way because we were playing the top of the table side and we gave them a good game. It was cruel but that’s what happens when you’re top of the league.
“We’d had a bad result the week before and we had to stop that quickly. We know we can play like this against a team like Leicester but we have to make sure we’re more consistent.”
United are 12th in the Championship and do not play again until Ipswich Town come to Elland Road a week tomorrow.
McDermott will spend this week pursuing his remaining transfer targets, among them a player who he met for talks on Friday and is trying to agree terms with. Leeds have been heavily linked with Luke Moore, the ex- Aston Villa and Swansea City striker who is presently on the books of Turkish club Elazigspor.
Brown, however, gave a vote of confidence to Leeds’ existing squad, saying: “There’s a great bunch of lads here. We all get on and that’s a good thing. Sometimes you don’t like people across the room but here we have a great dressing room.”