MICHAEL BROWN is adamant Neil Warnock will next season deliver the type of Leeds United team that the fans demand.
The Elland Road club have had a hugely frustrating campaign – victories which kept them in touch with the play-offs having been interspersed by demoralising heavy defeats.
Last weekend’s defeat to Watford, however, means the top six looks beyond United and after a seventh place finish last time around that can only spell disappointment for supporters who have seen their team concede four, five and seven goals on home soil this term.
Brown said: “You don’t mind losing, or you don’t mind so much when you play like you did against Southampton (Leeds lost 1-0). Everybody can stomach that.
“But when you do what we did against Watford and Nottingham Forest (when Leeds lost 7-3), it is not good. We seem to be capitulating when teams score against us at home.
“Forest was a classic example. We were in it at 3-3 but when they went 4-3 up, that killed us.
“The manager knows how to make teams hard to beat and fighting for the cause. That is what the fans want to see – a strong team, a good mentality. That type of attitude and application is generally what is needed.”
United face a daunting task in front of the live Sky cameras today as Reading are the Championship’s in-form team with 11 wins from 13 games.
Suspension, injury and illness has left the Leeds squad decimated and Warnock admitted in midweek he did not have a clue who would make the starting XI.
Grinding out a result could be the order of the day, an ability that Brown feels Leeds have been lacking on too many occasions.
He added: “Yes we can potentially play well but then the next week we don’t turn up. Is it a confidence thing?
“We didn’t start well at Millwall (when Leeds won 1-0). Personally, I was shocking for 20 minutes but if you ride those spells out, you tend to get rewarded.
“Manchester United were a classic example on Monday night. They were ticking away, nothing special and then all of a sudden – bang. Two goals, the game (against Blackburn) is won.
“Grinding games out is a knack and we need to learn it. It is a very tight league and if you get on the right run at the right time, you have got a chance. People have been slating us but we could still finish seventh or eighth. But the table doesn’t lie.”
United are mourning the death of groundsman John Reynolds. The 75-year-old, in his sixth decade at the club after first signing as a trainee with fellow Welshman John Charles, passed away in Wakefield Hospice yesterday after a lengthy battle against illness.
Last six games: Reading WDWLLW, Leeds United DWDLWL.
Referee: D Drysdale (Lincs).
Last time: Reading 0 Leeds United 0; November 27, 2010; Championship.