MK Dons v Leeds United: Rosler admits team under pressure to ‘grow quick’

Uwe Rosler.

Uwe Rosler.

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Uwe Rosler admitted today that he and Leeds United were under pressure to “grow quick” after their first defeat of the season and denied that he was facing an excessive level of expectancy.

Rosler insisted he was happy with the support he was receiving at Elland Road and said the club’s supporters were right to expect an improvement on Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Ipswich Town.

Ipswich inflicted United’s first league defeat of the campaign, leaving Rosler’s players with eight points from seven matches despite a six-game unbeaten run.

Rosler was critical of his side at the end of the match, saying they had shown too little “courage” on the ball, but he warned against “dramatising” a night which frustrated the home crowd.

The German is fighting to buck the trend of short managerial tenures at Leeds having agreed in May to become the club’s fifth head coach since owner Massimo Cellino bought United in April 2014.

But speaking as he prepared to travel with his team for tomorrow’s clash with MK Dons, Rosler said: “I want to play for a club where there are expectations.

“It has to be realistic and that’s always balance. Everything is about balance and I can’t control that but I wish to work for a club which has expectations and a certain pressure to perform.

“I want to work for a big club and my players do too 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 just a scenario with our club but is a scenario in modern football. We have to grow quick but I would not dramatise the game that we lost. Yes, we need to improve. But yes, I feel supported. Yes, I think my players are supported.”

Rosler set a top-10 finish as the target for his first season as head coach and the 46-year-old said Cellino was alive to the likelihood of “defeats on the road”.

“The circumstances in this football club dictated that the club decided to build around young players,” Rosler said. “So when you say ‘A’, you have to say ‘B’ as well.

“When you’re working with probably the youngest squad in the league, you get benefits but you need time as well. Mr Cellino, he’s completely aware of this. I’m completely aware of this. We knew on the road there would be defeats but we want to be there in May. For us there is no reason to panic.”

Asked if his team’s last two performances, including a 1-1 draw with Brentford on Saturday, had highlighted the need for patience, Rosler said: “I wish so but like Eddie Gray told me on LUTV (United’s official television station), that will never change.

“The expectations are here and we don’t want to change that. It’s why we are all here. We love to play or work for a club like Leeds United. It’s a privilege, not a burden.

“The players are growing, that’s for sure, and we will get better. When we started off we wanted to get certain foundations. I think they’re in place through hard work. Now we have to get to phase two.”

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