Neil Warnock is ready to risk defeat at Cardiff City tomorrow by taking the game to Malky Mackay’s side and bidding to break Leeds United’s long wait for a victory in the Welsh capital.
The United manager vowed to attack Cardiff on their own ground and chase a first win in the city since 1984, admitting: “My players don’t know how to play for a draw.”
United will come up against one of the most expensively-assembled sides in the Championship this weekend after £10million was ploughed into Cardiff’s squad during the summer transfer window – around £8million more than Warnock invested in the squad at Elland Road.
But Leeds have already negated two other wealthy clubs, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers on the first day of the season and fighting out a 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers before the international break.
And Warnock said his players had no reason to be “in awe” of Cardiff despite the Welsh club’s progressive summer.
Warnock said: “Everywhere we go, especially with the crowd we take away from home, we’ve got to try and win each game. If we lose, we lose but we’ve got to be looking to win games.
“That’s the way I am and it’s the way I always want to be. You should never be in awe of anybody. There’ll be a lot of times like this weekend – the same as it was against Blackburn and Wolves – when you look at the teams we’re playing and on paper you’d think they should beat us all ends up.
“But these aren’t computer games. They’re played on a pitch and in real life.
Things happen in real life. There’ll be expectation on Cardiff and other teams we play in the next few weeks – more expectation than there is on us.”
Asked whether his side might settle for a point in Wales, Warnock said: “I don’t think we’ve got any players who would play for a draw. I don’t see lads like Jason Pearce, Tom Lees and so on knowing how to play for a point.
“I’ve never done that in my career. I’ve never gone into a game not trying to win it.”
Saturday’s match is the start of a demanding run of fixtures for Leeds, taking in league games against Hull City and Nottingham Forest and a League Cup third-round tie against Everton.
United reached the start of the international break in seventh place in the Championship table, one position ahead of Cardiff, after taking seven points from their first four games.
Warnock, who strengthened his midfield yesterday with the loan signing of Michael Tonge from Stoke City, said: “If you look at the teams we’ve already played it’s been tough. Over the next four weeks you couldn’t ask for more difficult games than what we’ve got.
“But it’s going to be difficult for the teams who are playing us too. I’ve told the lads that.”