Leeds United: Away days might just be what the Whites need – Ritchie

Charlie Taylor.
Charlie Taylor.
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THREE out of the next four fixtures for Leeds United are away from home in the Championship and I actually think that it is not too bad a thing and might suit them at the minute.

Yes, they got that win that they needed at home against Cardiff City recently, but they haven’t been playing well and have not been consistent enough. Certainly, nowhere near as consistent as they need to be and Steve Evans and everyone at Leeds will be searching for that. It is what you are looking for and it has so far proved elusive and confidence won’t be great at home.

So I think it might be easier going away from home and obviously Leeds go to Queens’ Park Rangers today, who have been struggling a bit with no permanent manager in yet.

It is not quite a six-pointer, although Leeds are just behind QPR in the table and they will be wary of the teams around them and there’s obviously the ex-manager aspect with Neil Warnock taking charge of QPR on a caretaker basis, assisted by another former Leeds boss in Kevin Blackwell and they will be desperate for a result.

Leeds also have to go to Charlton, Wolves and Nottingham Forest next month in a busy December and the thing for Leeds is that they will also all be under pressure as well.

Charlton are lying just around the relegation zone and Forest weren’t expected to be as low down as they are and are looking over their shoulders and Wolves aren’t doing that great either.

There’s a lot of games in the next month or so up to new year and it’s all about picking up the points and it’s a crucial time. Leeds aren’t in great form, but it’s about finding a way and digging out some points at this moment in time. There’s plenty of important games coming up, for sure and it’s about results and not necessarily performances.

There’s eight games in five weeks for Leeds and playing especially away from home can allow you to change your system and style a bit more and maybe it might be a case of Leeds primarily making themselves hard to beat in order to just get something.

People talk about the Christmas period being a marker in terms of where you are in the table and with the games coming thick and fast. But it’s really all about points and everyone is battling for points and a few wins or a few losses can change the complexion of things completely.

But Leeds can’t afford to look even that far ahead and it’s just about the game at QPR, first and foremost.

For me, not losing would be a decent result and while they aren’t doing so well, it’s a tight ground there with the fans on top of you and a good atmosphere. Playing at that stadium will give QPR an extra motivation, even though they aren’t doing great.

Leeds obviously will have their own motivation after a difficult weekend and derby defeat to Rotherham United last time out, which was a poor result and a desperately disappointing one, with the one who was left smiling being Neil Redfearn.

Players want to go back and beat their old clubs and it’s the same for managers, especially when they have left a club pretty recently in the case of Neil and in the way he left Leeds.

He said after the game that it was a pretty sweet win, as it would have been for Steve if it was the other way around.

Things were a little bit marred by the Best sending off and sadly there was also all the stuff about the car parking pass not given as well.

I know Steve spoke also about the young players in midfield in Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt not having great games. Youngsters are prone to having the odd bad game sometimes, no matter how good they usually are. Steve will know that is what you will get on occasions and they can struggle for week-to-week consistency.

That will be a bit of a balancing thing for Steve on occasions. If you take one or two young ones out of the firing line, it might put doubts into their mind and it might affect confidence. You have to be very careful. You just have to monitor the situation and hope you make the right decision.

One young player Leeds have been missing is Charlie Taylor and he started the season superbly and was a player that they could bank on and the sooner he is back in the fray, fit and firing, the better.

His performances were vibrant and full of enthusiasm and having him back around will be good for everyone.