AT THE end of a difficult week for Leeds United, Uwe Rosler has opted to keep “everyone on their toes” by giving no hint as to the make-up of today’s starting XI.
Normally, Leeds’s manager will give notice in Friday’s training session who is expected to play, but that approach has changed after taking just one point from home games against Brentford and Ipswich Town.
Rosler said: “Normally I indicate to the player on Friday in terms of doing shape, who might start or not. I never confirm it, I always leave the door open. But the players normally know or assume who is starting.
“This weekend I didn’t do that at all. I want everyone on their toes.”
Ipswich’s 1-0 triumph on Tuesday night was far from the most significant loss of the week for Leeds following Adam Pearson’s decision to step down as executive director to concentrate on his Super League club, Hull FC.
Pearson has played a key role in bringing stability to a club who had none last term and he had established an excellent working relationship with Rosler.
As sad, however, as the United manager was to see the former Hull City chairman walk away, his most pressing problem right now is getting back to winning ways.
To do so, Leeds will have to handle the sense of expectation that comes with taking 5,000 supporters to Milton Keynes as will happen today after the club again sold out their away allocation.
“I want to play for a club where there is expectations,” said Rosler. “It has to be realistic and that is always the balance. Everything in life is about the balance.
“I can’t control it, but I wish to work for a club which has expectations and a certain pressure to perform. And I want to work for a big club and my players do to.
“But some of them don’t have 200 league games under their belt. They have to grow and, to be honest, we have to grow quick. All of us. That in general is not a scenario of our football it is a scenario in modern football.
“We all have to grow quick, but they are. I would not dramatise that game that we lost. Yes, we need to improve. But yes, I feel supported. Yes, I think my players are supported.
“On Tuesday, I heard no booing. They wanted us to get the equaliser but we have to raise the standard and we have to play instinctively. The more time we have, the more we think, the more we complicate things.
“When we play instinctively, then we are very good side. But to coach against teams with 10 men behind the ball and create lots of chances is very difficult.”