Leeds United and Luke Ayling won't throw the baby out with the bath water in Championship promotion race

Leeds United will not throw the baby out with the bath water in pursuit of a return to form in the Championship, says Luke Ayling.

By Graham Smyth
Saturday, 25th January 2020, 6:00 am
Luke Ayling and Leeds United return to action on Tuesday night against Millwall (Pic: Getty)
Luke Ayling and Leeds United return to action on Tuesday night against Millwall (Pic: Getty)

The Whites have won once in their last seven league outings and haven’t scored since New Year’s Day, when they held West Brom to a 1-1 draw.

Saturday saw them lose a second successive Championship game for the first time this season, QPR’s 1-0 win leaving United four points clear of third, having enjoyed an 11-point gap after their win over Hull on December 10.

But Ayling is keen to point out that, as much as the players are hurting from a poor run of results, they are still a good side and one that has earned a place in the top two.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

“It’s just frustrating at the minute that we are playing really well but we just can’t get over that line,” he said, after missed chances proved costly at Loftus Road.

“But speaking to them after the game, the other team, they are still saying how good we are and how much we work and things just aren’t going for us.

“We are still very much one of the best teams in this league and it shows in our league position.”

With that in mind, Ayling says Leeds will stick with the playing style and philosophy that has made them so dominant.

He’s confident the tide will turn.

“We have got this far by playing our way and playing our style so I don’t think we are going to change the way we play,” he said.

“Things will start going back for us soon and, hopefully, the wins will start coming back.”

The year began in decent style with that away point against fellow top-two side, the Baggies, and a scintillating first-half performance at the Emirates, Leeds taking Arsenal apart and earning plaudits as a Premier League side in waiting.

But Ayling, a former Gunner, won’t hear talk of how capable they are of competing in the top flight.

Not until they’re actually there.

“We are not a Premiership team yet; we are still playing in the Championship,” he said.

“But, of course, we believe we can be.

“We are still sitting second in the league and we are still in a very good position.

“The last month, things haven’t gone our way but we are still second, we are still three points clear and we have still got 18 games to go and the boys will still be working hard and trying to get this club to the Premiership.”