GOALKEEPER Rob Green has lost no faith in Leeds United’s promotion bid, insisting “bumps in the road”, such as Friday night’s 2-0 loss at high-flying Brighton, are an inevitability.
Leeds would have continued their impressive rise up the Championship table into third with victory at The Amex, but matters went awry inside 23 minutes.
Midfielder Kalvin Phillips was sent off for handball on the goalline and Glenn Murray’s no-nonsense penalty kick gave the Seagulls an early lead.
Leeds then battled manfully despite their numerical disadvantage, but Garry Monk’s men were finally put to the sword for good in the 83rd minute.
The Seagulls converted a controversially awarded second penalty for Kyle Bartley’s foul on Lewis Dunk. Substitute Tomer Hemed converted the game’s second spot-kick and Saturday’s results then demoted Leeds down to fifth.
But Green has not forgotten the promise of displays such as recent victories against Norwich City and Aston Villa, not to mention a fine EFL Cup showing at Liverpool and a still very respectable recent tally of 28 points out of a possible last 42.
Asked if Leeds could keep the pace in the top six this term, Green reasoned: “There’s no reason why not.
“We can compete and we have competed with the teams that have come down from the Premier League once or twice this season – and in the cup as well.
“We can do that and it’s getting everyone doing it on a consistent basis.
“Numbers, when the games are coming thick and fast, can be an issue, but everyone in that squad is going to get used and we have still got room for improvement, which is the beautiful thing.
“We are going to get big bumps in the road and the test is pulling ourselves through it and coming through it in the next game, which is Tuesday.”
Third-placed Reading are tomorrow night’s visitors to Elland Road and Green declared: “You have got to be bounce back.
“You don’t want to lose two games on the bounce.
“We are on a fantastic run at home – we beat Villa last week obviously and we just want to continue that form.
“I think if we go back to imposing ourselves on the opposition then we can do that.”
He added: “It’s a game against another team that are going well at the top and if you are up there that’s the beauty and that’s the challenge.
“That’s important and that’s why you are here.
“It’s better than being down the bottom and having to win to try and pull away from the opposition.”