Thomas Christiansen admitted that Leeds United had let the chance of a quarter-final place slip but said all focus would turn to the “special” goal of promotion from the Championship following a League Cup loss at Leicester City last night.
United suffered a 3-1 fourth-round defeat after Leicester fought back from an early Pablo Hernandez strike to reach the last eight through goals from Kelechi Iheanacho, Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez.
A defensive mix-up involving goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald led to City’s equaliser four minutes after Hernandez struck with a brilliant 20-yard finish.
Christiansen refused to apportion blame for Iheanacho’s finish and said he could “not complain” with the performance of a side which showed 10 changes from Saturday’s Championship win at Bristol City.
“We have to see where the problem started but what it clear is that we received a goal a few minutes after ours,” United’s head coach said.
“If we could have kept the lead to half-time there could have been another result at the end.
“We knew about Leicester’s quality and I’m very proud and happy with the performance.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t keep the lead until half-time.
“The players are disappointed to be out of the cup after arriving so far but they are realistic about who we played against. For me, I cannot complain in any sense.”
Leeds face a quick resumption of their Championship season with a televised Yorkshire derby at home to Sheffield United set for Friday night, a meeting between third and fourth in the table.
Christiansen said: “Obviously it (promotion) was our goal from the beginning of the season.
“I want to compete in all competitions but now we’re out of one of them, it gives even more focus on the special one that is the Championship.”