Jonny Howson urged Leeds United to believe in their chances of beating managerless Leicester City on Sunday after moving to draw a line under the lowest point of his time as captain at Elland Road.
Howson is targeting a morale-lifting win over a club he said were “not on the greatest of runs” following Wednesday night’s 5-0 hammering at the hands of Blackpool.
The defeat was the heaviest of both Simon Grayson’s time as manager of Leeds and Howson’s spell as a senior United player, and Howson spoke of “disappointment and anger” after three errors from goalkeeper Paul Rachubka exposed Leeds to a fifth Championship loss of the season.
United will end a congested spell of seven matches in the space of little over three weeks on Sunday, their last game before the international break, and Howson believes Leicester could themselves be vulnerable after an unconvincing start to the season.
Leicester invested heavily in their squad during the summer transfer window but they are without a manager after Sven Goran Eriksson was sacked last month in response to mixed results. City and Leeds are locked together on 22 points, in ninth and 10th position respectively.
Howson said: “They’re not on the greatest run of form. If we go there, take the game to them and get off to a good start then anything can happen.
“We’ve got to go to Leicester and put in a good performance. It’s all about how we bounce back. In the Championship, teams suffer results which come out of nowhere and for some strange reason we seem to get one of these results a season at home.
“There were mixed emotions afterwards; a bit of disappointment, a bit of anger at times. It’s hard to take as professional footballers. It’s never nice to get beaten in any circumstances but 5-0 at home is hard to take.”
Leeds trailed Blackpool 3-0 at half-time and faced a five-goal deficit with 12 minutes to play, and Howson said the loss was as tough an experience as he had endured since assuming the armband at Elland Road.
“It’s mentally tough to keep yourself going when you’re five-nil down with 10 minutes to play and 10 men,” he said. “It’s disheartening. But we’ve got to be men and move on. Blackpool has gone and no matter what we say or do, it’s not going to change anything.”