Thomas Christiansen ordered Leeds United’s players to forget a sobering loss at Birmingham City and insisted their failure to outclass the Championship’s bottom club should not detract from “a very good month”.
Christiansen quickly turned his focus to Monday’s clash with Nottingham Forest after under-pressure Birmingham cracked a seven-game winless streak by beating Leeds at St Andrews on Saturday.
Forest are without a manager having sacked Mark Warburton in the wake of a 1-0 loss to Sunderland, less than a year on from his appointment at The City Ground.
As Forest succumbed to Sunderland, United’s run of four straight victories was unceremoniously ended as Birmingham dominated a forgettable game and snatched a late 1-0 success through Jacques Maghoma’s 83rd-minute strike.
Leeds were bidding to remain unbeaten through December and close to within two points of second place in the Championship, but Christiansen’s side are six points back and hold a slender one-point cushion over seventh-placed Aston Villa.
Their recent form, however, has revived their chances of promotion and Christiansen refrained from criticising his squad over their failure to take anything from St Andrews.
“I have to say that I’m very happy with the performances the team have shown in the last games, with the good results,” he said. “It is a very good month. I will not attach anything [negative] on this game.
“We had an opponent who we knew would be dangerous, even in the position they are in. It’s a team who showed that they are not the last in the table with the quality of their players.
“They gave 150 per cent and we were unfortunately the victims but we need to forget about Birmingham and for sure we’re going to make a good performance in our next game.”
Leeds, who were hit by injuries in the lead-up to Saturday’s game, produced only one shot on target – a speculative effort from Kalvin Phillips – but watched a Pablo Hernandez’s strike deflect onto Birmingham’s crossbar 10 minutes before Maghoma scored.
United held on to fifth place despite their loss and will look to take advantage of another out-of-form team at Elland Road tomorrow. Forest boast just one win in five.
And Saturday’s loss to Sunderland was the final straw for Forest’s board, who sacked Warburton on Sunday morning. “It’s always good to have a game so close after a bad result,” Christiansen said. “My team is ready to bounce back, especially at home.”