Leeds United manager Simon Grayson says two clubs with brimming confidence will clash at Elland Road after dismissing claims that QPR might show lasting damage from their first defeat of the season.
The Championship's leaders saw an unbeaten run of 19 league games broken by Watford last Friday but Grayson denied that the result would give Leeds an advantage this weekend – despite QPR boss Neil Warnock insisting that confidence among his players "is bound to have taken a knock."
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Rangers have set the Championship's pace for much of this season and the cash-rich club are heavy favourites to win the title with a four-point lead at the top of the table.
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Grayson admitted that he did not rate QPR as the most attractive footballing side in the division but he said Warnock's team were deserved leaders and a side whose clinical streak was unrivalled.
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But he warned his counterpart that United's confidence was also soaring after eight games without defeat, and Leeds expect Elland Road to post an attendance of around 30,000 tomorrow for the club's last fixture before Christmas.
"I wouldn't think their confidence will be dented too much," Grayson said. "Neil won't allow it to be dented.
"They'll be disappointed obviously, but confidence can't dwindle after losing one game. To be undefeated up until last week was magnificent and their form hasn't surprised me.
"I wouldn't say they're the best team in the division in terms of passing. The Swansea Citys and Doncaster Rovers are more attractive on the eye. But what they are is consistent. They can grind out results and if they go behind, they sometimes end up with six strikers on the pitch. Neil's not frightened to go for it.
"But we'll be going into the game with great confidence too, and we'll have a crowd of 30,000 there. There's a massive desire to not be beaten and the players have shown that – hence why we've gone eight game undefeated."
QPR's lead could be trimmed to a single point if they lose at Elland Road tomorrow and Warnock was willing to accept that his squad were likely to have been stung by their defeat to Watford.
"The confidence is bound to have taken a knock," he said. "But when you look at other results, everybody's the same.
"Just look at Chelsea. They only have one win in seven. You just have to work your way through it and get back to basics."
Leeds' victory at Burnley last weekend – the second time in two matches that the club have overturned a deficit to record a dramatic win – moved them to within six points of QPR, who hold a game in hand, but
Grayson claimed he was not viewing the game as a promotion battle.
"Because they're top and we're fourth, people will be thinking of it as a chance of us to close the gap," he said. "But for us it's just the next game."