Leeds United: Given Leeds’ situation, winning games is an absolute priority – Lorimer

Alex Mowatt.
Alex Mowatt.
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I had nothing at all against Uwe Rosler but by the end of his last game as head coach I was genuinely worried.

I felt worried about the performances and the results and worried that Leeds United were about to get dragged into the mire. The spirit of the players had started to drop and the form seemed to be getting to them mentally.

There’s been a visible difference under Steve Evans, 100 per cent. We got a point away at both Fulham and Bolton and, in fairness, we deserved to win both games. Before the change of coach I’d have had little confidence about either match, but the team have clearly taken a shot in the arm.

You can see it in Sam Byram who’s starting to come alive again. It’s there in Mirco Antenucci too and the formation with two strikers suits us much better.

We’re on the front foot from the off, rather than trying to keep everything tight, and that tends to win you more games. Given the situation we’re in, winning games is an absolute priority.

With the right system and in the right frame of mind, I expect these players to start climbing the table.

Our strongest side is much better than the bottom third of the Championship, but the fact is we’ve been down at the wrong end for a little while now.

With 14 games gone we need to get on a decent run. Nobody wants to be in the bottom six come Christmas and it’s vital that we’re well clear of all that.

As I’ve said in previous years, if you can get into a comfortable position around the turn of the year then you’re free to attack games without any anxiety about what’s over your shoulder.

It does make a big difference. As for Evans himself, he seems to be going about the job in the right way.

I spoke to him when he first arrived and I can safely say that if he’s been waiting for one job all his life, this is it.

Some coaches who come here see the job as exactly that: a job. With Steve, he’s genuinely excited to have the opportunity. There’s a youthful enthusiasm about him and the club will benefit from that.

To look at his squad I reckon he’d benefit from signing a couple of players. It’s not that we need numbers but there are areas where we could definitely be stronger.

It looks like he’s getting the backing of the owner on that so I’ll watch with interest to see who arrives. A few deals could make a big difference because, whatever criticisms I’ve aimed at the results or the performances this season, I’ve never doubted that the existing group of players here is pretty talented.

Clubs change coaches for the simple reason that things don’t seem to be working. When a new man comes in, you want to see big differences and big improvements and in a short period of time I think we have.

The pleasing thing is that there’s more to come from this squad.

Young Alex Mowatt, for example, hasn’t got going at all this season.

I can imagine Steve seeing his form as a big priority – because get Mowatt on his game and you’ve got a big asset to work with.

With Mowatt, it’s probably a mental thing. He hasn’t clicked yet so his confidence is down.

That, to me, was probably the reality of the situation when Steve took over.

The previous approach wasn’t quite happening and people had started to lose faith.

It happens in football and I guess, if we’re being honest, it happens with every manager eventually.

But this change seems to have done the club good.

Pontus Jansson heads in the winner against Norwich. PIC: Simon Hulme

Big-match verdict: United’s six-week run reels in the top six