Norwich City 2 Leeds United 1: Heckingbottom admits whole mentality needs changing at Whites
PAUL Heckingbottom admitted Leeds United would have to change the "whole mentality of the group" after the head coach fell to his eighth defeat in his 15th game in charge through a 2-1 loss at Saturday's Championship hosts Norwich City.
The head coach also said his first two and a half months at the helm left him certain of exactly what was needed at Leeds over the summer.
Leeds looked on course to net Heckingbottom just his fourth victory as Whites head coach when a fine strike from Kalvin Phillips gave United a 39th-minute lead.
But the Canaries equalised with a deflected effort from Wes Hoolahan on the stroke of half-time and Norwich then powered home the game's winning goal through Josh Murphy nine minutes after the hour.
The defeat saw Leeds drop to 14th with the Whites now having taken just 15 points from their last 21 games with Heckingbottom having picked up only 13 points through his 15 games at the helm.
"What it's given me is how certain I am in terms of what has to happen and what needs to change," said Heckingbottom.
"I'll sit down with anyone now and argue my point because I know I'm right and it's sometimes nice to be that certain, in what you have seen and what you know and how you are going to go about it.
"That's a nice feeling to know how certain you are wnd the hard work starts on making it happen now.
"We have to change the whole mentality of the group, definitely.
"There are too many loose balls, 50-50s, not won. I know when we look at the physical stats the boys will have run.
"But when we look at the challenges and duels, we won’t be coming out on top. That’s a mentality thing. That's what we have to change."
Reflecting on the 2-1 defeat as a whole, Heckingbottom said: "It was frustrating.
"We spoke about guarding against it being an end of season game and like a testimonial with the things that were going off. It felt like that.
"There were lots of good of things in the first half you could point at but the game was played with few chances because it was all played in front of each other and it was like a testimonial at the end of the season.
"But I felt it was there for us for the taking.
"We get a lead and with better game management in the final two minutes of the first half, deal with things better and take our chances, there's no danger.
"I didn't enjoy it because there was no fire in the game and I don't think the ref helped either blowing every time someone was near each other."