Luke Ayling addresses Leeds United's main concern with cushion in automatic spots vanished

LUKE Ayling said Leeds United would have to "start again" after seeing what was an 11-point cushion in the automatic promotion spots finally wiped out at Nottingham Forest.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 2:00 pm

The defender also admitted a run of just two wins in ten was not acceptable and that his side's form was more of a worry than the league table after the "same old story" at the City Ground.

Leeds sat 11 points clear of the play-offs pack following the 2-0 win at home to Hull City on December 10 but Saturday's 2-0 loss at Forest has now left United second on only goal difference ahead of third-placed Fulham.

Forest themselves are now only one point behind the Whites in fourth with fifth-placed Brentford now two points behind Leeds ahead of Tuesday night's clash between the Whites and Bees at Griffin Park.

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DENIED: Nottingham Forest keeper Brice Samba keeps out Liam Cooper's header in the second half of Leeds United's 2-0 loss at the City Ground.

The 11-point cushion has vanished in 11 games and 61 days but Ayling said: "I don't think that's the concern, just our form in general is more the concern.

"I am not sure how many wins that is in how many games but it's not been good enough.

"Now it's about starting again.

"That points gap is gone so it's about starting again now and trying to outpoint the other teams

"We are joint on points now so it's like starting from zero.

"We have just got to try and outpoint the other teams around us and see what happens."

Leeds were threatening to get on top in Saturday's clash at the City Ground but Forest still netted the game's opening goal in the 31st minute when Sammy Ameobi's effort beat 'keeper Kiko Casilla at the near post.

United then pushed for an equaliser but Marcelo Bielsa's men were undone for a second time in the 95th minute when substitute Tyler Walker finished off a Forest counter attack.

"I think we started well and then the first goal killed us," said Ayling.

"I don't think we have scored the first goal in a game for a long time now and we are always playing catch up in games at the minute.

"That has certainly got to stop.

"We played some nice football up to a point but no cutting edge again so same old story."

Leeds have gone from winning seven games in a row and an 11-game unbeaten run that featured eight victories to losing four of their last nine with United beaten in four of their last five.

The Whites have taken just nine points from their last ten games.

Attempting to put his finger on what was going wrong, Ayling reasoned: "We are doing the same things in training so we are doing all the things we did at the start of the season.

"Things just aren't dropping for us and our form is not good enough at the minute.

"There ain't no beating around the bush, it's just not good enough but the boys will keep working hard.

"If there's one thing people can't say about this group it's that we won't keep on running but it hasn't been good enough so the quality has got to start coming back so hopefully it can.

"Right now there hasn't been much said in that dressing room. The boys are off doing their own things.

"They want to go home and come back again on Sunday and start again because we have got a huge game Tuesday at a really tricky place.

"It won't get swept under the carpet but now I think it's about making sure the group is together and going again for Tuesday."