Brentford 2 Leeds United 0: “I need time” admits Milanic

Darko Milanic. PIC: Varley Picture Agency
Darko Milanic. PIC: Varley Picture Agency
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New Leeds boss Darko Milanic admitted “I need time” after his side were brushed aside by Championship new boys Brentford.

The Slovenian had taken just three training sessions with his new side before their 2-0 reverse at Griffin Park, in what he conceded was a very difficult first game in charge.

Goals in either half from Jota, a summer signing from Celta Vigo in Spain, and Alan McCormack secured the Bees maximum points against a Leeds outfit that had won three of their previous four under Neil Redfearn.

In contrast the Londoners were smarting after a 4-0 hammering at Middlesbrough and a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Norwich, which saw boss Mark Warburton promise there would be a reaction.

Milanic said: “It was a very difficult game. I expected a game like this against a side with very aggressive forwards.

“We were not good enough in possession in the first half and were not dangerous.

“We have to play with a much more offensive mentality. In the second half we did it better and had some good shots, but we weren’t good enough to score and Brentford were very dangerous on the counter-attack.”

Milanic said he wanted to bring the Leeds faithful a European style side in terms of style and mentality.

“I want to play offensive and we played with two strikers today but it’s not enough if you don’t have offensive thoughts,” he said. “That first game at Elland Road will be very important for us. With support and energy we can make it.

“But I have to know individual players in the division better and I need time.”

Milanic will have been worried by his side’s lack of fight after going two down with 15 minutes remaining and the hosts could have gone on to notch up four or five, only the heroics of keeper Marco Silvestri keeping the scoreline down.

Brentford boss Mark Warburton hailed his side’s character and resolve after the Middlesbrough setback, especially given the visitors’ recent wins over Bournemouth, Bolton and derby rivals Huddersfield.

“The intensity of this league is very tough and they are getting used to it,” he said.

“We were always aware of the threat Leeds posed but after 10 minutes we took over and, very respectfully, we dominated.

“It was a very dominant performance, with good tempo and a lot of quality. We could still have been more clinical and probably should have had more but that’s something that we will continue to work on.”

Warburton knew his side would respond after the Riverside rout and added: “We had a long chat after Middlesbrough and thought a lot about what we would do if Plan A didn’t work, and decided that if it didn’t work we would strive to do it better.”

Spanish midfielder Jota gave the Bees the lead on the stroke of half time, finishing off a flowing five-man move with a crashing drive into the roof of the net.

And McCormack sealed the points in the 76th minute with a rasping low drive that deflected off the foot of Giuseppi Bellusci and past Silvestri.

United’s only real effort of merit came with five minutes remaining when Lewis Cook’s 25 yard grass-cutter licked just past the upright.

Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom in the snow during Saturday's 2-1 loss at home to Sheffield Wednesday. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

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