Thomas Christiansen vowed to fight his way through Leeds United’s turbulent results and said he was up to handling the pressure of the job after defeat at Brentford turned the screw on him.
Christiansen presented a defiant message in the wake of another Championship loss, insisting his squad would “come again” and saying: “If we don’t have faith, if we don’t believe, we can throw everything away and go home.”
Leeds will spend the international break in 10th position in the Championship following a 3-1 loss at Griffin Park on Saturday, the club’s third straight defeat and a seventh in nine league games.
Christiansen’s side were picked off by late goals from Yoann Barbet and Ryan Woods and United’s head coach was again left to rue individual mistakes, including a bad first-half error from goalkeeper Andy Lonergan.
The result in a game which Christiansen had described as must-win beforehand put fresh strain on the Dane but Leeds and owner Andrea Radrizzani have indicated their intention to stand by a coach they appointed in June on the back of three years in Cyprus.
Christiansen admitted that the pressure on him was rising but promised to bring the club’s season back under control, saying: “There’s only one way – to continue working hard. We need to come out of this situation.
“I know it’s the same question from the last few weeks but if we don’t have faith, if we don’t believe, then we can throw everything away and go home. We are here, we are fighters and we’ll come back again.
“All of these situations will be hard. There’s more pressure now and if we lose the next game then there’s more pressure than today. This is the business of football. We all know how it is but there’s only one way to come out – stick together and fight back.”
Christiansen has two weeks to address the failings of his players before Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough’s visit to Elland Road.
United who fought back at Griffin Park from a Neal Maupay goal scored after Lonergan dropped a cross in front of him on 22 minutes.
Gjanni Alioski equalised in near identical fashion in the second half following a mistake by Brentford keeper Daniel Bentley but Barbet struck with a free-kick on 85 minutes and Woods sealed Brentford’s win deep into injury-time.
Leeds struggled before half-time but rallied after the interval as Christiansen threw on Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe. Brentford manager Dean Smith gave Leeds a vote of confidence, saying United had “worked very hard for each other and very hard for their head coach.”
“They are not fighting for me,” Christiansen said. “They are fighting for themselves. They want to show that they are good players and that they deserved better.
“This is the bad situation it is but it’s not a question about the coach or the players. There’s a little bit of bad luck we’ve had and we had some good opportunities to score.
“When you have a good run, they go in. When you think that you deserve more than what you got, you’re disappointed.”
Leeds made sweeping changes to their squad over the summer after the appointment of ex-Middlesbrough head of recruitment Victor Orta as director of football, signing 14 first-team players but losing Chris Wood, Rob Green and Liam Bridcutt.
Asked if his resources were strong enough, Christiansen said: “We will talk about that but right now the players I have are the best and these are the ones I will think about.”