MIDFIELDER Kalvin Phillips insisted there were was no lack of discipline at Leeds United despite another Whites red card in a third loss in four games at Ipswich Town.
United were dominating Saturday’s Championship game at Portman Road when Irish international midfielder Eunan O’Kane was shown a straight red card after allegedly head-butting Town’s Jonas Knudsen eight minutes before the break.
O’Kane’s dismissal came just six days after United’s No 10 playmaker Samuel Saiz was also sent off for spitting at Robbie Willmott during the 2-1 loss at Newport County in the FA Cup.
Saiz was subsequently handed a six-match ban and O’Kane is looking at a three-match suspension unless Leeds choose to appeal and are successful in getting the punishment overturned.
Coach Thomas Christiansen believes they will appeal, claiming that video replays showed no head-butt.
O’Kane’s sending off was also United’s fifth red card of the season following the dismissals of Ronaldo Vieira, Gaetano Berardi and Liam Cooper in meetings with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Bristol City and Cardiff City before Christmas.
Asked if the past week had highlighted an issue amongst their squad, Phillips said: “I don’t think so. The lads are doing well together and we have a good attitude in the camp.
“I think that’s what we’re about. Leeds are a very tough team and we come out and give our all on the pitch. Sometimes it happens in football where you get red cards. You just have to carry on.”
Leeds squandered good opportunities through Pawel Cibicki and then Kemar Roofe before O’Kane’s dismissal.
Ipswich then twice hit the post shortly before the interval, first through Martyn Waghorn’s corner before Bersant Celina’s delightful long shot rattled the frame of the goal.
I think that’s what we’re about. Leeds are a very tough team and we come out and give our all on the pitch. Sometimes it happens in football where you get red cards. You just have to carry on.Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips
But impressive on-loan Manchester City midfielder Celina bagged the only goal of the game with an even better attempt from 25 yards in the 67th minute.
Even with 10 men, Leeds continued to press and captain Liam Cooper somehow put an effort from three yards out over the bar before a fine attempt from the excellent Pablo Hernandez also whizzed inches over.
United have picked up just one point from their last three games, dropping outside of the play-off places to seventh.
Phillips said: “If we take our chances, then we’ll win games and we didn’t take our chances. We’ve lost two games in a week but it isn’t much to panic about.”
Ipswich Town: Gerken, Iorfa, Chambers, Knudsen, Kenlock, Skuse (Hyam 76), Connolly, McGoldrick, Waghorn, Celina, Garner. Unused substitutes: Crowe, Sears, Drinan, Bru, McDonnell, Smith.
Leeds United: Wiedwald, Berardi, Jansson, Cooper, Anita (Lasogga 78), Phillips, O’Kane, Cibicki (Sacko 28), Hernandez, Alioski (Shaughnessy 46), Roofe. Unused substitutes: Lonergan, Dallas, Klich, Grot.
Referee: R Jones (Merseyside).