Jason Pearce looked ahead to two vital home games after his man-of-the-match performance helped Leeds United claim a “good point” at Queens Park Rangers.
Leeds fell eight points adrift of the Championship play-offs after a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road but Pearce believes the result in London will be valuable if United take advantage of an overdue return to Elland Road.
Brian McDermott’s squad host Bolton Wanderers in Leeds on Saturday – their first home match for fully five weeks – and face another pivotal game against seventh-placed Reading three days later.
The fixtures are United’s opportunity to close in on the top six after a Jermaine Jenas strike seconds before half-time denied them a win at Loftus Road.
Ross McCormack’s 24th goal of the season gave Leeds an early advantage but Jenas replied on 45 minutes to hold United to a draw.
Pearce, whose display in the centre of defence earned him the man-of-the-match award, said: “We had a couple of really good opportunities to win the game but if you look at the whole picture it’s a good point to get. We move on.
“As I said to the guys, we need to win our home games and that’s what we’ll be looking to do. It’s been a long month with quite a lot of away performances.
“You don’t stop believing but we can’t affect what other teams are doing. We need to concentrate on our performances and the last couple have been good. We need to take that into our home games now and it’s going to be an interesting end to the season. We’re positive.”
Pearce has been United’s most consistent defender this season and Leeds offered few chances to a QPR side who started the term as title favourites but are under heavy pressure after five matches without a win.
Pearce said: “It was a difficult game against difficult players and to be honest, I don’t want to pick myself out as the stand-out performer or the best player. I thought everyone from one to 11 was superb. Obviously I’m delighted to get man of the match but it could have gone to any of the lads.”