Javvi Gracia outlines crucial Leeds United step and big reason for belief in Whites survival bid

Whites boss Javi Gracia says Leeds United must remain "faithful" to their plans ahead of Monday night’s "crucial" showdown against Liverpool at Elland Road.
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Gracia's relegation-battling side were on course to move five points clear of the drop zone when leading 1-0 against last weekend's visitors Crystal Palace only to suffer a crushing 5-1 defeat that left the Whites fifth-bottom.

Gracia, though, says there is no time for his side to complain ahead of Monday evening’s visit of Jurgen Klopp's Reds and says maintaining belief will be key to United's survival prospects ahead of eight "finals" in the season run in.

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"It’s important to be strong in this moment of the competition," said Gracia. "Not because now we are at the bottom or one point ahead or behind but we try to be focused on ourselves and try to compete the best way to compete the way we usually do it.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: From Leeds United head coach Javi Gracia. Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images.IMPORTANT MESSAGE: From Leeds United head coach Javi Gracia. Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE: From Leeds United head coach Javi Gracia. Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images.

"If we are faithful with our plans, for sure we have many chances to achieve our target at the end of the season and we are concerned about that, achieving our target at the end of season, not to be today or tomorrow in one better position or worse.

"After our last game, all of us were disappointed more with the second half than with the first half but the final of the game was hard for us to accept. Now we have another chance.

"We know there are eight games left to finish the season and we don't have time to complain about anything - only try to be focused on the next game and try to do better as we did in the most part of the games we played before. I think in this way we can compete, we are full of confidence and we believe we can do it."

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Asked if Monday’s visit of the eighth-placed Reds was a chance to try something different, Gracia reasoned: "For us, it’s crucial, vital this game. This is something we have to take and try to give everything in this game.

"It’s not a final because we have to play eight games but we have to live it like a final knowing it will be a very demanding game but we have to give our 100 per cent.

"We know how difficult it will be this game against Liverpool because they are a very good team.

"They are very dangerous. A very good team. Very well organised. They know perfectly the way they play and it’s hard to play against them. But in this moment the importance of the games left is crucial for us and then we don't pay attention if we play against one team or not and pay attention to the importance of the points.

"I said before in this moment we have no time to think about if it's better or worse to play now against this team. We have to play to give our best and try to get the points."