Leeds United captain Sol Bamba credited a clear-the-air meeting with reviving the club’s form and admitted the squad were fighting for involvement at Elland Road next season after a 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers.
Bamba reflected on an impressive week as a third successive league victory carried Leeds into the top half of the table and extended a dramatic turnaround from their 4-0 thrashing at Brighton a fortnight ago. The Ivory Coast international was guilty of repeated errors on a bad night at The Amex but his 34th-minute goal at Ewood Park on Saturday set Leeds up for a deserved success.
Evans spoke last week of the positive impact made by a “frank” training-ground discussion at Thorp Arch in the aftermatch of the Brighton loss and Bamba said: “The performance in Brighton was very bad.
“We had meeting between us to say that can’t happen, that we need to change. It was a good meeting because everything came out and obviously we’ve now performed very well. We need to look at ourselves when we don’t perform.
“We need to look at ourselves on the pitch but we had a good meeting and that was needed, definitely.”
Leeds are 10 games away from the end of a campaign which has been overshadowed by off-field issues and pressure on club owner Massimo Cellino but Bamba said he expected United to be “stronger” next term, predicting positive changes in the summer.
“It’s difficult to talk about that (next season) because you’re probably going to have some players come in and some players are going to go,” he said.
“But I think what’s important is to keep the core of the team and with performances like this it’s up to us to show what we can do to stay at the club.
“Obviously the owner and the manager are going to try to make some adjustments and bring in some players, and we’re going to be stronger for it.”
The centre-back claimed the opening goal at Blackburn with a close-range volley from Alex Mowatt’s corner on 34 minutes.
A second-half strike from Mirco Antenucci gave Leeds a 2-0 advantage before Simeon Jackson pulled a goal back for Blackburn in the penultimate minute.
Bamba admitted his effort had come in spite of a fruitness performance in training the previous day.
“To be honest, we had a practice at set-pieces on Friday and I kept missing all of them, missing the ball, missing the target,” he said.
“I was upset but everyone said ‘keep it for today (Blackburn).’ That’s what happened.”