Pablo Hernandez said he hoped Leeds United’s worst result of the season was behind them and insisted a sorry defeat would “change nothing” after a 4-1 hammering by West Bromwich Albion.
Hernandez pulled no punches about a “bad day” at The Hawthorns but said the club’s heaviest loss under Marcelo Bielsa was no reason to alter their style or mindset, blaming errors for playing into West Brom’s hands.
Albion scored four times in the second half to inflict Leeds’ third Championship defeat and prevent Bielsa’s side from reclaiming first place in the table on Saturday evening.
West Brom were clinical in punishing United’s mistakes, with Hal Robson-Kanu, Matt Phillips and Harvey Barnes scoring from counter-attacks - situations in which Hernandez said West Brom “killed” Leeds - before substitute Dwight Gayle put Darren Moore’s side 4-0 up with eight minutes to play.
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Hernandez’s injury-time header, his fifth goal of the term, counted for nothing and Leeds have two weeks now to dwell on the result as the season breaks for its third round of international fixtures.
“We didn't have a good day and we lost,” Hernandez said. “But two weeks ago we knew we were not the best team in the world and now we know we are not the worst team.
“This is football. Sometimes you have good days, sometimes you have bad days and this was a bad day for us. But this loss does not change our mentality.
“I think this team has always shown a good spirit. Today was maybe the worst game in our season but we need to continue with the same style and with the same mentality.”
Albion’s prominent players, some of whom were with the club in the Premier League last season, came good on Saturday to end the club’s run of four matches without a win and lift them to fifth place.
Leeds hold third position in the Championship, three points behind Norwich City who are setting the pace after five straight wins.
“In the first half we imposed our style but in the second half they played on the counter-attack and killed us on the counter-attack,” Hernandez said. “But this changes nothing in our style or in our mind.
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“We know that (West Brom) have good players up front and good attackers. We knew that they would wait for our mistakes and of the four goals, two or three came from our mistakes. We need to learn and not repeat the mistakes.”
Hernandez, though, warned of more twists to come in the Championship as he ruled out the possibility of any side running away with the league.
“This year you can't see it like two years ago with Newcastle and Brighton, or last year with Wolves,” he said. “They went to the top with a big gap.
“Now you win one game and you can go top and if you lose one game you go third or fourth. This year until February or March a lot of teams can fight for the top of the league. It’s a big fight for us.”