Ronaldo Vieira held his hands up to a second-half error and admitted Leeds United needed to draw a quick line under consecutive losses after Cardiff City claimed a rare away win at Elland Road.
The 18-year-old midfielder took responsibility for the mistake which allowed Kenneth Zohore to seal Cardiff’s 2-0 victory and said Leeds had been punished for blunders against a side who had come to Elland Road to “play for the draw.”
Leeds retained 71 per cent of possession against Neil Warnock’s side but struggled to create chances and fell behind on 54 minutes when Cardiff defender Sean Morrison nodded home a free header from Craig Noone’s free-kick.
Zohore increased City’s lead 19 minutes from time, slotting home after Vieira unintentionally diverted a dropping ball to Aron Gunnarsson who sprinted through United’s defence and left goalkeeper Rob Green stranded with an unselfish pass.
Leeds finished the game with 10 men after Liam Bridcutt was sent off on 86 minutes.
The defeat followed on from United’s 2-1 loss in last weekend’s West Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield Town and while Garry Monk’s side retained fifth place in the Championship, Norwich City in seventh cut the gap between them to four points.
Leeds, who suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since September, host struggling Bristol City tomorrow evening and Vieira said: “We’ve got a chance to put it right. Hopefully we’ll do it because we can’t lose three games in a row.
“There are still 15 games to go and plenty of time to put it right. We will lose points, hopefully not too many, but other teams will lose points too. Everyone will. We’ll just see how we end the season.
“It was like we were expecting it. Cardiff were going to come and play for the draw.
“We tried to keep the ball at a good tempo and we started the game well and the second half well.
“It was just a few mistakes where we got caught.
“Teams are going to come here and try to slow things down but we’ve got to speed it up as we’re playing at home.
“It’s a learning curve and we have to learn.”
City’s second goal came after Gunnarsson pounced on a poor touch from Vieira and ran past Kyle Bartley before squaring the ball to Zohore 12 yards from goal.
“It was just a lack of communication,” Vieira said.
“I could have left the ball for someone else to clear it out but I didn’t. I tried to get a touch and got caught.
“It’s football, it happens, and it could have happened to anyone.
“I have to learn and get on with it, and the team have to get on with it. We have to try and put it right on Tuesday.
“It’s tempting to look at the league table but we’re not really worried about that.
“We need to take it game by game.”