THOMAS CHRISTIANSEN urged his under-pressure players to believe in themselves and take confidence from their position in the Championship table after a morale-sapping loss to Reading on Saturday
The Leeds United head coach attempted to ease criticism of his squad and their current form as he faced up to a third straight defeat and a fourth loss in five games. Christiansen’s side surged to the top of the Championship last month after a nine-game unbeaten run but have taken three points from the last 15 on offer, dropping to sixth place.
Leeds are just four points off second but Christiansen is battling to rectify a poor run after his team succumbed to an 85th-minute goal from Reading’s Mo Barrow, the former Leeds loanee.
The defeat was United’s first at home this season and Pablo Hernandez compounded it by missing an injury-time penalty. A frustrated Christiansen admitted afterwards that his players were feeling the strain after a quick loss of momentum.
“Confidence can put the ball in instead of missing, like the penalty, but we can work on that,” he said.
“From my point of view, they’re the same players who brought us to the good situation that we were in before these games.
“We’re still four points away from (second place). This is also something to have in mind.
“We expected much of this game, especially after the two defeats we had and the one against Sheffield Wednesday. I expected a reaction and of course to take three points but this is football.
“We have to continue and work hard, and especially work with the minds of the players to take them back to where they’re confident.”
Christiansen, however, claimed his side were unfortunate to lose to a Reading side who started the day inside the Championship’s relegation places.
We have to continue and work hard, and especially work with the minds of the players to take them back to where they’re confident.Leeds boss Thomas Christiansen
“From my point of view we deserved much more than we got after the second half,” he said. “We didn’t get it.”