Leeds United: League is priority after disappointing exit from cup - Ritchie

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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It’s a blow to have gone out of the Capital One Cup at the first hurdle.


No matter what anyone says about fixture pile-ups and stuff like that – which we are not really into at the moment – I think that they would have wanted a cup run.

I’m sure that the United owner, Massimo Cellino, would have wanted one, too.

Going out on penalties is never the best thing is it and the two missed penalties sailed over the bar didn’t they?

But the squad have just got to pick themselves back up again and say, ‘right, we’re out, there’s nothing we can do about it now and we’ve got a real tough game away at Reading’.

Going to the Madejeski will be very, very tough, it’s never easy going there and playing against a Royals side who like to play football as much as Leeds United do.

But I thought that Leeds showed some good stuff the other night at Doncaster and even when they went down to 10 men they had a couple of chances at the end including when they hit the post through Mirco Antenucci.

They’ve just got to take heart from how well they played and also maybe think about how if we had have had our full compliment on, it might have been a different story.

You’ve just got to pick yourselves up quickly, because the league is the bread and butter and you are not going to be hailed at the end of the season really, if you win the Capital One Cup.

And were they ever really going to go on and win it anyway?

It’s the league United are going for, they want to get promotion, they want to get in those play-offs so it’s about regrouping, getting back together, not dwelling on it for a while, analysing it and getting it out of their system and I’m sure that’s what Uwe Rosler will do.

But it’s not ideal playing three days later at Reading, is it?

Travelling down, it’s notorious on weekends at the moment with roadworks – it could be a three-and-a-half hour journey or it could be seven.

And that’s something you’ve got to think about because at the moment the roads are a joke. There seem to be roadworks everywhere you go and the fitness guys will be heavily involved along with the manager to get the optimum levels of performance out of the boys.

But I think Leeds look as though they are playing some good football because I know Uwe loves that and he won’t give up until they have got a cohesion there.

Everybody wants to get the first win under their belt when a new manager comes into a club.

That’s very, very important for him as well as the fans.

It’s one of those where if it carries on it plays on your mind to a degree.

But they have got such a difficult start that I think to draw down at Reading, he would be very happy with that.

That would only be two points out of six but it’s a tough start for them and we know that they have got these other hard games coming up.

On Wednesday we go to promoted Bristol City which is going to be a real tough journey, too.

If United had beaten Burnley then earning two points out of these next two away games would have kept everybody happy.

Even so, if we get two points in our next two away games I don’t think he’d shrug his shoulders at that.

I think he’d be quite happy with that but then it just puts a little bit more pressure on the home game with Sheffield Wednesday and we know what local derbies are like!

United’s new striker Chris Wood is still looking for his first goal and with all strikers it’s nice if you get off to a good start.

I did when I was at Leeds which I think endeared the fans to me because I was top scorer in my first season and that makes it a lot easier.

But really it’s just a case of as long as he is doing his job for the team and he was brought in for that – to be that person that holds the ball up for the midfield players to get up there and support and chip in with goals.

Hopefully his presence there will give more room, time and space to the two players behind him as I think that’s the way Uwe wants to play it – with three up front.

Whoever plays up there he has got three very capable players.