Beating Middlesbrough boosts Leeds United ahead of tough task

LEEDS UNITED midfielder Ronaldo Vieira insists that the club remain firmly on track to achieve their season's aims after Sunday's win over Middlesbrough.

Leeds United's Ronaldo Vieira says in the win over Middlesbrough the side 'were tougher. We chased the ball with a higher intensity' (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).

United stopped the rot following a debilitating run of seven defeats in their previous eight matches in all competitions with victory over former Whites boss Garry Monk’s side at Elland Road, boosting confidence levels ahead of tough away-dates at leaders Wolves and Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.

Despite Leeds’s poor autumnal sequence, Vieira believes that the bigger picture always concerned the club remaining on target to meet their mission of a top-six finish in 2017-18, with the Whites moving level on points with sixth-placed Boro following Sunday’s 2-1 triumph.

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Vieira said: “Our aim is the top six and that is what we are going to try and do.

“Right now, we are still on track and we have just to carry on what we are doing and get that momentum going from Sunday and try and win more games.

“We have got tough games coming up and winning this game just gives us that extra boost again to go on and win more games. It was just a very important win.”

A pre-match meeting among United’s players stressing the need to “fight for each other” was reinforced by a determined, fully-committed performance against Boro, with midfield powerhouse Vieira and colleague Kalvin Phillips comfortably eclipsing the seasoned duo of Grant Leadbitter and Jonny Howson in the battle for hegemony in the engine room.

Vieira added: “I thought we were tougher. We chased the ball with a higher intensity and me and Kalv spoke to each other and we said, ‘let’s just fight, not just for us, but for the whole team.’

“The whole team came behind us and we fought for each other.”

The Football Association are investigating incidents of object-throwing during Sunday’s game.

The FA’s disciplinary department plan to write to Leeds to ask for the club’s observations after flagpoles were aimed at one of referee Keith Stroud’s assistants and several Boro players during the second half at Elland Road.

The linesman was the target of missiles thrown from the South Stand after controversially awarding Boro a penalty in the 77th minute, which Britt Assombalonga converted.