Leeds United: We must put the Brighton game behind us – Ritchie

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I WATCHED all of the first half of the Brighton game and then saw the highlights of the second but the damage was done in the first half wasn’t it?

It just seemed like they were all over the place.

Leeds United's players show their frustration at Brighton.

Leeds United's players show their frustration at Brighton.

Every time Brighton went down the field it looked as though they were going to score and we didn’t really have that much in reply.

I think it’s one of those games where you think ‘well, where did that come from’ because I thought they had looked pretty solid in recent weeks.

They looked okay to me and their results had been quite good.

Then you just get one out of the blue and maybe you think ‘well, let’s just write that off and let’s get on with it.’

We know the owner is not one for resting on ceremony but I think sometimes you have just got to think ‘right, okay, we’ve had a bad one, get on with it and forget about it.’

Sometimes that’s the best way to deal with it.

The fans have always paid good money but the players don’t deliberately go out to produce a performance like that.

Sometimes you get trampled on, they are on top of you and they hit you quickly and you just can’t get out of the form you are in and the malaise you are in on the pitch.

I’ve been there myself. We got beaten 7-1 once, I think it was when I was at Leeds at Stoke and you just think ‘where did that come from?’

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do as a player and just collectively you have an absolute stinker.

I think there was a quick reaction after that Stoke game, I can’t remember the game after that, but Billy Bremner was in charge at the time and I can’t remember him really giving us a volley.

There was one or two things that he raised his voice about but I don’t think it was like a big rant.

It was more a ‘let’s just put it in the back-burner and work on it and let’s get a result next week’. Because it was totally out character.

And I think the Brighton display was probably totally out of character with the way that Leeds had been playing.

I saw them in their home game the other week against Middlesbrough and I thought they were great and good value.

It’s just one of those things.

I know it’s bad for the fans but what I would say is that the players would not want to go out and do that.

But it does look bad at times and it makes it worse that it’s like a 400-mile round journey.

In terms of the position of Steve Evans, we have talked about this for so long now and what would this be now – Massimo Cellino’s eighth manager if he sacked him?

I just don’t think it’s the way forward.I think you’ve got to get some stability and you’ve got to give somebody a chance to make a mark.

To be quite honest, it happened with Neil, with Redders, who was doing pretty well I thought.

Then it all blows up and it seems as though it’s all petty stuff.

One week you’re fine and the next week, bumph, you’re out of the water.

I don’t know what he thinks he’s going to gain by chopping and changing all of the time, that’s the biggest thing for me because when you change, you change the ethos of the club, you change the way the manager wants to play the game and if you keep doing that every three to four months to every two to three months – that it has been at times, the players don’t know where they’re at.

They don’t know what they’re doing and players need stability. And the club does.

I know there will always be a taker for Leeds United manager, but there’s going to be a time where people are turning around and thinking ‘I’m not going there because I know I am going to be sacked within six months if I get a bad result. If I lose 4-0 away at Brighton I am going to lose my job’.

This is a club in turmoil and I’m not surprised that the fans are brassed off about it because I think everybody is.

I just want to go and see a settled side with a manager that is going to be there for a bit of a time and see what happens.

If you are asking would the likes of Lewis Cook sign a new contract, we had this with Sam Byram as well didn’t we?

And eventually he didn’t sign because I think he has looked at the whole picture and the whole situation of the football club and felt ‘I need some stability with my football career.’

He chose to go and to be fair, I think Sam went for a song as well at £3.7m. Now he has been playing for West Ham.

I don’t know, I really don’t know, but it seems to me as though there is no stability there and you don’t just have to look at the players or the managers, it’s the people that have gone behind the scenes as well.

It shows that the chairman is very, very difficult to work for I’m afraid.

Are Leeds safe from relegation? No, I don’t think they are. Not at the moment.

I think they will stay up, no doubt about that, but it’s just this inconsistency that they have showed all season that they have got to conquer.

They have got to get a consistent run of two or three wins on the spin and that will galvanise them and definitely keep them safe.

I think they are safe anyway but it’s another big game tomorrow because Bolton are fighting for their lives and it’s not going to be an easy ride.

And they’ve got to make sure that they do take the points from the people below them.

Chris Wood celebrates his goal at Newcastle United.

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