Adam Forshaw insisted that Leeds United were “still in credit” and firmly on track for promotion after Hull City ended the club’s seven-match winning run.
Leeds succumbed to defeat for the first time since their 4-1 loss at West Bromwich Albion two months ago as a Jarrod Bowen brace earned Hull a 2-0 victory at Elland Road.
Bowen scored in either half to prevent Leeds from registering an eighth successive league win for the first time in 87 years and deny Marcelo Bielsa’s players the chance to stretch six points clear at the top of the Championship.
United held onto a three-point advantage on Saturday after second-placed Norwich City suffered an injury-time defeat against Derby County but Forshaw said he was reluctant to rely on results elsewhere and challenged Leeds to put another winning streak together quickly.
The club have lost only four times in the league under Bielsa and hold 51 points after 25 matches.
Forshaw said: “If you want to get promoted you always want to guarantee that you get two points per game so we’re still in credit and we go from there.
“I think we’ve proven our quality. We’re top of the league and it’s no fluke. We’re scoring goals and playing exciting football so if the believe wasn’t there now, I wouldn’t know why. Everything has gone really well.
“I’m really disappointed that we haven't scored and we’ve conceded two goals but on the whole, that was seven wins on the bounce. If we can put another run together like that then we won't be far away, definitely.”
Norwich were set to move level on points with Leeds until a goal in added time saw Derby County claim a 4-3 victory at Carrow Road.
Asked if that result was a bonus, Forshaw said: “You can say that but we like to focus on ourselves as much as possible. It’s a chance missed, there’s no denying that, but (Norwich) will be thinking the same and it’s unfortunate for them.
“You’ve got to keep a level head as much as you can. This (defeat to Hull) just proves that the league is strange. Results do happen like this.
“I think we’ve got enough experienced heads in the dressing room and we’ve played in this league for long enough to know that it’s a slog.”
United travel to Nottingham Forest tomorrow to face a side who narrowly failed to claim victory at Elland Road in October. Forest were denied in a 1-1 draw by an 82nd-minute goal which Kemar Roofe converted with his arm.
Forshaw is looking for the New Year’s Day fixture to pick Leeds up quickly, saying: “It's one of them - we put a great run together and we can't dwell on it now. We can't really over-analyse too much because we’ve got another big game coming on Tuesday.”