No need for panic at Leeds United following Stoke City defeat, insists Mateusz Klich
Mateusz Klich insisted a third defeat in four league games was no cause for panic as Leeds United faced up to a 2-1 loss at Stoke City and mounting pressure over the '˜Spygate' dispute.
The club’s lead at the top of the Championship was cut to a single point by Norwich City after their first visit to Stoke in 12 years ended in a frustrating loss and the second-half dismissal of defender Pontus Jansson.
Jansson received a red card for a second bookable offence in the 76th minute, in between goals from Sam Clucas and Joe Allen. The centre-back will serve a one-match ban when Leeds travel to Rotherham United this weekend.
Clucas’ opener on 47 minutes came after defensive errors from Klich and Liam Cooper and Allen’s tap-in settled the match two minutes from the end of normal time. A Gjanni Alioski reply deep into injury-time came too late to alter the outcome.
The match at the Bet365 Stadium played out against the backdrop of more developments in the controversy surrounding Marcelo Bielsa’s admission that he sent a member of staff to watch Derby County train before the clubs’ meeting at Elland Road on January 11.
Bielsa revealed last week that Leeds had spied on training sessions of every Championship club this season, a comment which prompted 11 sides in the division to write to the EFL on Friday to demand a detailed investigation into the Argentinian’s methods.
Both the EFL and the Football Association are looking into the situation and United are waiting to learn if they or Bielsa or Leeds will be hit with disciplinary charges.
The club hoped to put the dispute to one side with a victory at Stoke but Saturday’s result left Bielsa to reflect on a patch of poor form which has followed their run of seven straight wins.
Midfielder Klich, however, said: “We’re not worried. We lost the game but we dominated and we created maybe not clear chances but opportunities to score a goal.
“We know we can do better and score goals but it's a difficult league. There are no easy games and other teams are dropping points, not only us. West Brom and Norwich - everybody is dropping points.
“It's not easy but we’re going to fight until the end and we’re very optimistic. The pressure is huge, obviously, because everyone feels that it could be this season but there are 18 games to go.”
Klich took responsibility for the miscued header which allowed Clucas to drive in Stoke’s first goal, saying: “We lost a goal after our mistake and my poor clearance. He (Clucas) hit it perfectly but it wasn't a good afternoon for us.
“Everyone knows what we need to do and everyone is focused on the games. We can’t drop more points and we need to be winning games. We need a good run like we had before.
“But I’m very optimistic because we were the better side. We dominate all of the games so I just hope we’re going to win soon. A couple in a row and then it's going to be all good."