McDermott battling to cure away-day blues

Leeds boss Brian McDermott
Leeds boss Brian McDermott
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WITH eight defeats and just three wins from 16 league games on the road in 2013, it is not hard to understand why Leeds United have so far lacked the consistency to mount a promotion challenge.

Ahead of today’s trip to Charlton Athletic, Brian McDermott, with one Championship title success and a run to the play-off final to his name, knows things have to change.

He said: “I have got ideas about why (United’s away results are poor) but it has not just been over the last few games. It has been over a period of a couple of years.

“I do know the away record and it is not good. But there is no point in me dwelling on that.”

United’s away day woes looked to be behind them in the early weeks of the season. A battling draw at Leicester City on August 11 was followed by victories over Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers.

However, since then the poor form of last season has returned with a vengeance as Leeds have lost consecutive away games at Reading, Millwall, Derby County and Huddersfield Town.

These losses have undermined any hopes of McDermott’s men forcing their way into the promotion reckoning despite having won their last three games at Elland Road.

McDermott said: “I just concentrate on the team. It is a young team who have been close away from home. We actually started the season pretty well.

“We were very unfortunate against Reading, then went to Newcastle (in the Capital One Cup) and played well (in losing 2-0).

“We didn’t deserve anything at Millwall and we didn’t deserve anything at Derby. Then, in our most recent away game, at Huddersfield, it could have gone either way.

“We started well and we have to keep that momentum up. We got back to 2-2 and if there is a criticism of anything then it is an innocence in the team.

“We wanted to get that goal as early as we could and maybe we needed to stay behind the ball, do our jobs and make sure we get a result of some sort. We have been working on that.

“You can talk as much as you like. The only place you can put that right is on the training pitch and then in games. You want to do well because once again we have got a fantastic following. We needed 200 extra tickets. That tells you.

“Away victories are really precious and we want some on the board.”

Today’s opponents Charlton have had an upturn in form, last week’s win at Birmingham City taking their unbeaten run to five games.

McDermott added: “I don’t think you can ever say that a team should win a game in this division. Even when we were playing against Yeovil, you have to get things right and we did in the second half. It wasn’t pretty in the first half but in the second we played well and got a result.

“Look at Charlton’s recent record, they have got eight points from 12 and kept clean sheets. They are tough and they work hard. We know what we’re up against.”