Neil Redfearn called on Leeds United to aim for the jugular and put their Championship relegation battle to bed after an inspired win at Reading.
Leeds rose to the occasion on a pressurised night in the Championship as another brave performance away from home kept Redfearn’s squad five points clear of the relegation zone.
Second-half goals from Luke Murphy and Sam Byram earned a 2-0 victory at the Madejski Stadium, matching a rare win for Millwall over Birmingham City and easing the tension surrounding Saturday’s meeting between the clubs at Elland Road.
Leeds would move eight points clear of the bottom three with a win over Millwall this weekend, stabilising a season which has been fought out in the lower half of the Championship ever since United’s defeat at The Den on the first day of the campaign
Redfearn was hampered by the loss of Liam Cooper, Rodolph Austin and Gaetano Berardi to injury and illness ahead of last night’s match, and midfielder Tommaso Bianchi could be set for knee surgery after limping out of the first half.
But a 25-yard strike from Murphy –his third goal since returning to United’s line-up last month – and a last-gasp header from Byram secured a deserved win over Steve Clarke’s Reading.
United’s head coach said: “From one to 11 we defended really well and the goals were the icing on the cake. We countered so many times towards the end of the game.
“It’s taken us up to 17th and that looks a lot better, a lot healthier. But the more important thing is that we’re up to 35 points, much closer to that 50-point mark. A lot of clubs are bunched together and a lot are floundering.
“The season’s still well alive for us and in the last six or seven games we’ve been playing proper Championship football. We’ve been difficult to beat and we’ve come out the right side of most of the games. We’ve got go on from here now.”