Criticism of Leeds United is '˜overly high' says Steve Evans

MANAGER Steve Evans believes the criticism Leeds United have come in for following back-to-back derby defeats is 'overly high'.

Leeds United head coach Steve Evans (Picture: Tony Johnson).

The Elland Road club crashed to defeat at Rotherham United at the weekend courtesy of a last-minute penalty by Greg Halford.

Following on from the 4-1 loss at home to Huddersfield that preceded the recent international break, United’s players and head coach have come under fire in recent days.

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Evans believes the criticism is excessive and points to the trio of wins chalked up by Leeds before that derby defeat to Huddersfield as proof that his players deserve a bit more leeway.

“We made a shocking error at the end against Rotherham and everyone knows that,” said the Scot ahead of tonight’s clash with QPR. “But for that, we would have come away with a point.

“Against Huddersfield, we had a bad 45 minutes. All of us. I got my substitution wrong by putting (Lewis) Cook on and changing the shape of our midfield, letting Huddersfield get at us. A lot of us had a bad second half.

“But one bad half and one mistake at Rotherham seems to have obliterated the three really good results. No one wants to talk about their performance.

“People are entitled to opinions, I’d never deny that, and I am willing to accept criticism, but it is not so normal at Leeds. Criticism levels tend to be overly high.

“We need to get back to winning ways and a win against QPR settles everything down again.”

Tonight will bring a debut for teenage goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, due to Marco Silvestri serving a one-game ban following his red card at the New York Stadium.

“I would love it if Bailey gave me a difficult decision for the Burnley game (this weekend),” Evans added.

“If he gives me a difficult decision then I will be ready to make a difficult decision.

“I am not the sort where, if a 19-year-old is outstanding on his debut, I will pull him out and automatically put our first choice back in. We are expecting big things of Bailey and this game should the first of many appearances for the club. I am not the only person who thinks that.”

Gaetano Berardi is fit to play despite having stitches in a head wound.

Last six games: Leeds United LWWWLL, QPR WWWDLL.

Referee: J Adcock (Nottinghamshire).

Last time: Leeds United 0 QPR 1; August 31, 2013; Championship.