Leeds United: It’s time for players to step up to the plate – Gray

Neil Redfearn.
Neil Redfearn.
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LEEDS were pretty poor at home to Fulham on Saturday.

I said last week that I was very disappointed after the Ipswich game but I think this match was an even bigger disappointment.

I mean that from the point of view that we were playing at home and we were playing against a side who were below us in the league.

And aside from maybe the start of the game and early on, we never really got going and I don’t think we deserved anything out of the game.

There wasn’t much in it as a contest but I think they looked the most likely side in the second half to score and we always looked as though we were going to concede.

That was the disappointing thing.

We’ve spoken about the away form and you just hope that a performance like that on Saturday at home was a one-off because our home form has been quite good under Neil Redfearn.

But Saturday was disappointing and it’s down to the players – it’s nothing to do with Neil. The players have got to go out and perform themselves.

You go out against Derby and you perform well but then you go out against Fulham and you don’t perform.

And the players have got to take a look at themselves as it’s them who are on the pitch.

Neil has done nothing different and he has played the same team that played against Derby.

You are basically saying to the players, ‘go and perform like you performed against Derby and like you performed against Blackpool’ and they have never done it.

And I think one of the problems as well is that the longer it goes when you are stuck near the bottom of that table, the more the pressure grows.

You start looking over your shoulder then and you don’t want to be getting to that stage.

We’re playing Nottingham Forest next Saturday and we’ve got to go and try and get something there. Because if we don’t start winning then we are slipping closer to the teams that are in the bottom three at this stage of the season. Then the pressure really mounts up.

With a trip to Derby also in the offing this month, we have got a lot of games to come up that are going to be tough games but what we’ve got to do is go out and perform ourselves. It’s no good working on other sides – you’ve got to go and do it yourself and the players have to work hard for the benefit of the side and that’s the nature of the game.

It’s up to them to go out and play and there weren’t that many great performances on Saturday.

Sam Byram played well. He came into the game a lot and it was a lovely cross for Alex Mowatt when he hit the bar with a header.

It was a good effort across goal when Byram nearly scored himself and he came into the game a lot, as did Stephen Warnock in the early part of the game.

But the longer the game went on, the more Fulham were coming into it when they were getting on to us. They had a bit of pace and they looked the team in the second half that were going to pinch a goal.

If you ask me, are our players good enough to get us up the league? – then everyone has their opinion, but the jury is still out on it.

They’ve not proved that they are good enough to get up the league and if we are going to do it we’ve got to start doing it soon. But that’s still got to be proved.

I spoke to Neil after the game and he more or less said we need players in to get the right mix at the football club. If you’re going to climb up the table then you need that bit of quality.

You don’t know what’s going to happen at the football club but if everything goes according to plan then I think Neil will be looking to bring players in.

The funny thing about the game on Saturday is that in the last third from an attacking point of view we were disappointing.

And from a defensive point of view in their last third of the pitch we looked like conceding goals.

That’s a bad mix and that’s got to improve.