No time for Leeds to feel sorry for themselves over Carling Cup exit as flying visit to Brighton looms

AIDY WHITE insists Leeds United will not suffer a Carling Cup hangover when heading to Brighton & Hove Albion tomorrow night.

The Elland Road club were outclassed by Manchester United on Tuesday night as two goals from Michael Owen and another for Ryan Giggs were enough to seal a comfortable 3-0 win for the Premier League leaders.

Leeds manager Simon Grayson admitted his side “didn’t do themselves justice” during a first half that saw the visitors net all three goals.

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United now face a quick turnaround due to their first visit to Brighton’s new £102m home having been brought forward to avoid a clash with an Open Day at the University of Sussex, who share the car parks with the south coast club.

White, who has made the left-back position his own this season, is adamant Leeds can bounce back from their Carling Cup humbling.

He said: “Manchester United are one of the best teams in the world so it was always going to be difficult, regardless of what team they put out.

“It wasn’t their strongest team but players like Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov and Ryan Giggs have all been around the block so that experience meant it was always going to be tough.

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“Most of the players we faced would get in any Premier League team.

“All we can do now is learn from the experience. We knew from the start we were underdogs, but we didn’t play to our potential.

“The first half, we probably tried to push the ball too much and with their ability they were able to pass it round us very easily.

“That was a bit unfortunate but we will pick ourselves up and try to learn from the positives.

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“The key is picking ourselves up for Brighton, which is a big game.”

United travel to the south coast by plane this afternoon sitting 11th in the Championship table with 10 points from seven games.

Brighton, meanwhile, are six points better off third place so White knows Leeds are in for a tough test against Gus Poyet’s side.

One plus in United’s favour will be the back-to-back home wins that preceded Tuesday night’s defeat.

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White said: “We have had a couple of good results lately so it is important we continue that little run.

“The turnaround is very quick. It is a big game to go back into as well. They have a new stadium and a good team.”

As potentially draining as the schedule facing Grayson’s side is, Brighton face an even more hectic time with two games in just 48 hours, having played Liverpool last night in the Carling Cup.

White added: “Brighton have two games in three days and that is always hard.

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“Your legs feel a bit heavy but I am still sure they will put out a strong team and provide us with a hard game.”

Tomorrow night’s game should see White again in the starting XI with the only game he has missed in the past seven of United’s outings being through suspension, the left-back being banned for one game following his unfortunate sending off against Ipswich Town for a professional foul.

He added: “It is great to get a run in the team. I have played the last six or seven games, apart of course from the one when I was suspended.

“That was my aim and, hopefully, keep progressing and learning.”

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Leeds were still trying to finalise a deal last night to bring Stoke City midfielder Danny Pugh back to Elland Road.

Pugh, 28, spent two seasons with Leeds after joining the club in 2004 from Manchester United.

He was sold to Preston North End for £275,000 and joined Stoke two years later for £500,000, where he is now surplus to requirements.

Leeds manager Grayson is keen to sign Pugh ahead of tomorrow night’s game knowing his arrival will strengthen competition at left-back, left-wing, and in the centre of midfield.

He has been omitted from Stoke’s squad for both the Premier League and the Europa League this season.