LEEDS UNITED will be greeted by comfortably the largest travelling away contingent that the Championship has witnessed this season at Ewood Park today – and Neil Redfearn has urged his players to embrace it.
A massive 6,900 United following, beating the 6,727 who travelled over to Blackburn just under 12 months ago, will pack out the Darwen End this afternoon and after an abject performance in a 1-0 reverse 12 months ago, Leeds are mindful of providing some payback.
In the recent past, underwhelming performances in front of huge travelling supports have bedevilled United at times, with a 5-2 loss at Barnsley in front of 7,000 Whites fans another painful episode in September, 2010.
A few months after that, Leeds did reward a big audience in a 3-2 win at Coventry, watched by over 6,000 visiting fans and Redfearn wants his side, like on that autumnal afternoon, to revel in today’s surroundings and feed off similarly substantial backing.
On today’s support, Redfearn, who will check on the fitness of Rudy Austin after three games in the international break with Jamaica, said: “It is unheard of. Our support is just second to none.
“It is not said that much, but I know the lads really appreciate the support.
“We have got to start learning to enjoy our job and enjoy what we do. We are privileged, we are at a great club.
“We have got to make sure that people can see that in everything we do. The more we enjoy what we are doing, the better we will get.”
United boast a near full- strength squad for the short trip west and Redfearn says the heightened competition can only be a good thing. He added: “If we can keep consistency and try and build a team then the players who are in the side then know they have got a fight on to keep the shirts.
“And the players who are not in the team have got to play even better to get in the side.
“That is the right way round, rather than people being chopped and changed and moved about for the sake of it.”