Blackburn v Leeds United: Three-win wait is not acceptable says Evans

Steve Evans.
Steve Evans.
Have your say

LEEDS United are seeking a third straight win for the first time in 13 months on Saturday and head coach Steve Evans admits that’s far too long a wait.

The Whites have not won three successive games since February last year when Neil Redfearn’s side sandwiched a home victory against Millwall with triumphs at Reading and Middlesbrough.

Just short of 13 months later, United are now looking to back up victories at home to Bolton and away to Cardiff with another three-point haul at Blackburn Rovers.

And Evans is keen to wipe clean another unwanted lengthy statistic, four days on from ending a 32-year wait for a win at Cardiff, and some four months after ending an eight-month wait for a victory at Elland Road.

Asked about his thoughts on a 13-month gap since the last hat-trick of Whites wins, Evans admitted: “I think the same as when I joined this football club, it had not won a football match at Elland Road for eight months, I think, when we beat Cardiff, and Cardiff was the first win since March.

“Some of that, of course, gets misled because you don’t play a lot of football in May, June and July so that could be mis-reading the stats.

“But for Leeds United not to win three games in a row, it doesn’t matter if you are in the Premier League or the Championship, it shouldn’t be running for that length of time should it? That tells me it’s over a year and it’s too long that to win three games in a row.”

Evans then reasoned: “How many teams in the Championship this season have not won three games in a row?

“I would say it’s a very high percentage in the Championship, outside the top four or five.

“But that’s why they are in the top four or five, because they can go and run up a sequence of five or six wins maybe every quarter of the season.”

Saturday’s clash pits 15th against 16th but both teams arrive in decent recent form with Rovers having won three of their last four games.

Blackburn’s only defeat from their last quartet of matches came at leaders Burnley with Paul Lambert otherwise overseeing home wins against Birmingham City, Middlesbrough and MK Dons as part of four home triumphs on the trot.

The sequence of four-straight wins at Ewood Park began with February’s 3-0 success against Fulham, proceded by a 5-1 loss at home to West Ham in the FA Cup and a 1-0 league loss at Derby.

“I’m expecting it to be really tough,” admitted Evans.

“I’ve grown and was born and bred a few miles from where Paul Lambert was and I knew when he went in at Blackburn that there would be a turnaround of players and there would be a turnaround of how they were doing things.

“You only need to look at the signings of the likes of the boy Danny Graham and Gomez from Sunderland. Tony Watt comes up from Charlton and the boy Bennett, who was outstanding down at Bristol City on loan from Norwich suddenly gets purchased.

“Paul has certainly, from an attacking perspective, made Blackburn much more of a threat and harder to deal with.

“But we have to go there and we have to believe in our players and we will believe in our players.

“We will put a system in place that may be different from Cardiff and there may be a little change again in terms of personnel.

“And then we will go out there and we will try and compete to win a game.

“It’s going to be a tough afternoon, but I thought Cardiff was going to be a tough evening and, although we got the points, we knew how tough it was.”