Ross McCormack: Players were to blame for Leeds slump

Ross McCormack moves forward.

Ross McCormack moves forward.

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Ross McCormack hopes “clear the air” talks at Thorp Arch last weekend will drag Leeds United’s squad out of their worrying slump and inspire a season-changing win over Leicester City on Saturday.

The Scotland international spoke of his embarrassment over Leeds’ 6-0 mauling at Sheffield Wednesday and placed the blame for the club’s run of four straight defeats on him and his team-mates, saying: “Formations don’t win games – players do.”

United’s loss at Hillsborough was their heaviest for more than half a century and manager Brian McDermott reacted to it by calling his players into Thorp Arch for a meeting the following day.

McCormack said: “We had a clear-the-air talk on Sunday morning. A lot of people said their piece and it went well. If people don’t say how they feel it can fester. Sometimes you need a meeting like that.

“We (the players) have to take full responsibility. I’ve spoken to a lot of fans and a lot of people and people are going on about formations. But formations don’t win games – players do. We’re experienced enough to know what we should have done.

“We needed that meeting, we need this week, and we need to get back to doing the things that put us within a point of the play-offs.”

United are 11th in the Championship table having held a play-off position on Christmas Day and they host Leicester this Saturday, a side who lead the division with 54 points and have won their last five games.

McCormack said: “We tend to do well against the teams we’re not supposed to. Last year Leicester and Palace came at a difficult time and we beat them both in the same week. We can beat Leicester, no doubt about it.

“I understand exactly how the fans are feeling. They have every right to voice their opinion. It was 6-0 and a local derby. As a player it was hard to take but as a fan – it’s their life is Leeds United.

“Saturday was highly embarrassing. You can’t really say how you feel because it was that bad. I’ve watched it a couple of times since and it’s even worse. As players you have to put it to the back of your minds.”

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