Warnock urges his defence to ‘grow up quickly’

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NEIL Warnock has accused his Leeds United side of being “naive” and urged them to “grow up quickly” in the wake of Tuesday’s derby reverse to Hull City.

The Whites have taken just one point from their last three games with Tuesday night bringing a first home defeat of the season as the Tigers won 3-2 to secure their first win at Elland Road since September, 1987.

Warnock cut a frustrated figure on the touchline with the United manager feeling all three of Hull’s goals could have been prevented.

The strikes followed the sloppy concession of three goals in United’s previous home encounter with Blackburn Rovers with Warnock’s troops having now leaked eight goals in their last three league outings.

The cornerstone of many of Warnock’s previous promotion campaigns has been a solid defence, with QPR conceding just 32 goals – the best record in the Championship – en route to the title back in 2010-11.

That season saw R’s custodian and current Whites No 1 Paddy Kenny keep 24 Championship clean sheets.

Conversely the veteran keeper has recorded just one shut-out in the league so far this term in six matches – having been offered precious little protection of late.

Warnock rued: “The goals we conceded against Hull were naive; wet behind the ears stuff. We can’t continue giving goals away like those.

“If I was manager of a Sunday League team, I’d have been disappointed with the first two goals against Hull. And I am managing in the Championship.

“I am concerned at the goals we have conceded in the last two or three games. The opposition haven’t had to work for them.

“It is naivety, pure and simple. We have to grow up quickly in the Championship.

“Look at the third goal against Hull when they broke. Aidy White should have fouled the Hull lad. Hull would have fouled us.

“Let’s hope we learn (from Tuesday).”

Last season’s top-scorer Ross McCormack is set to go in for minor surgery tomorrow after chipping a bone in his ankle against Cardiff last weekend, an injury that Warnock believes could keep the Scot out for six to eight weeks.

Warnock added: “It’s not good news about Ross. He might need an operation on Friday because he’s got a little chipped bone alongside the ligaments.

“It’s as bad as you can get from a twisted ankle without breaking it.”