THOMAS CHRISTIANSEN delivered a scathing verdict on Leeds United’s focus and attitude and said he had a “face like I could kill somebody” after Sheffield United moved to the top of the Championship with a 2-1 win at Elland Road.
Leeds are at risk of dropping out of the Championship’s top six this afternoon following a bad night which ended in an 81st-minute winner from young Blades midfielder David Brooks.
Brooks’ first senior goal picked Leeds off towards the end of an eventful derby last night but Christiansen’s side were badly outplayed before half-time, conceding to their former striker, Billy Sharp, after only two minutes.
Christiansen accused his players of being “still in the changing room” when Sharp headed home from close range.
Goalkeeper Andy Lonergan kept Leeds in the game before Kalvin Phillips equalised with a volley against the run of play on 34 minutes, and despite a second-half improvement which saw Samuel Saiz hit a post, Brooks’ low strike condemned Christiansen to a fifth defeat in seven league games.
The United boss voiced concern about the stark contrast with a 3-0 win at Bristol City last weekend, saying: “I cannot be happy. At least one point would have been good but we didn’t make a good performance. We have to honest with ourselves and the way we acted in the first half is not good enough.
I cannot be happy. At least one point would have been good but we didn’t make a good performance. We have to honest with ourselves and the way we acted in the first half is not good enough.Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen
“We were still in the changing room when they scored the first goal and that’s the difference between this week and last week. Last week the team were focused from the first moment, including the warm-up. They had the feeling that something good was to come.
“When you receive a goal in the first minutes, you cannot allow that.”
Leeds have tailed off badly since climbing to the top of the Championship last month and Chris Wilder’s Blades lead the table today with a seven-point advantage over Christiansen’s squad.
Christiansen had described that gap as “too much” at this stage of the season ahead of last night’s match and asked if he was angry about the failure to perform in front of another crowd of over 34,000, the Dane said: “Always when I lose I have a face like I could kill somebody but I will try to sleep and then face the team and we’ll fight back again.
“It was a bad first half. We managed to come back into the game in the second half but still it’s not good enough.
“The team were too hectic and complicated the situation too much. From my point of view we didn’t handle playing in the opposition half with patience. This is what we need to move the ball, create the spaces and opportunities.”
Sheffield United head the Championship just six months after winning the League One title but despite their rousing win at Elland Road, Wilder played down the quality of the display saying: “If you’ve seen us this year we were quite loose. That frustrated me. We got caught up in the occasion a bit.
“It’s the best result we’ve had but performance-wise, it’s not one of the best.”