NEIL REDFEARN insists he is not discounting Leeds United’s prospects of propelling themselves firmly into top-six contention in the Championship – despite an indifferent start to the current campaign.
Leeds resume after the international break with a tough-looking clash at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, with the club having recorded back-to-back league wins just once since mid-April.
United lie in 15th spot in the Championship and remain a work in progress with almost three-and-a-half months of the season gone, just four points above the bottom three and eight points off the play-off pace.
But head coach Redfearn is not writing off their hopes of making a bid for the play-offs if his side can gel together on a consistent basis in the weeks and months ahead. Given a close-season which saw 15 players come in and a host of others depart during a frenetic summer transfer window, the smart money was on some form of transitional period being on the cards in the opening months of the season, moreso with Leeds having so far had three permanent head coaches.
Redfearn is aiming to buck the trend by providing some stability and consistent results and hopefully build some on-pitch momentum in the process.
Despite Leeds’ stop-start season, they will be backed by a travelling army of around 6,000 fans in Saturday’s Roses clash at Ewood Park, representing the biggest Championship away support of any club in the division so far this term.
Redfearn is hoping to reward their faith and while he accepts that getting Leeds within sight of the top six is a considerable task, he sees reasons to hope. Redfearn, who believes his side have been energised by the zestful performances of the likes of Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook and Sam Byram heading into the international break, said: “It could be two forward and one back and one of those sort of seasons.
“But there’s no reason why if we can’t get a settled side and things going that we can’t go on and get ourselves in there. We have got to find our way and our feet and the way that is right for us and drive on.
“If you look at the last couple of games, the pleasing thing is that it was basically the same side that played against Charlton and Blackpool.
“I could see improvement in the Charlton game and then the Blackpool one. If we can get ourselves in the position where the consistent is the majority and the variable is the minority, then we can pick up and start maybe being more consistent and understanding each other’s game and developing.”
Midfield man Rudy Austin is set to lead Jamaica in their Caribbean Cup final clash with opponents Trinidad and Tobago later today. The midfielder helped the Reggae Boys book their place in the final with a 2-0 win over Haiti in their Group B encounter in Montego Bay, having found the net in the 85th minute in the 3-0 victory over Antigua and Barbuda on Friday. The final will be staged at the Montego Bay sports complex.