QPR 1 Leeds 0: Cellino returns and sees United’s slump continue

Liam Cooper admitted that the behind-the-scenes chaos at Leeds United could be having an impact on a young squad after the Whites fell to defeat against Queens Park Rangers.

Leeds United chairman Massimo Cellino attempts to keep warm with a QPR blanket wrapped around him as he watches the defeat at Loftus Road (Picture: James Hardisty).

However, the centre-back said he was not allowing it to affect him.

Owner Massimo Cellino, subject to an upcoming Football League suspension, watched QPR dominate Leeds.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Cellino has been criticised for much of the upheaval, a view echoed by the 3,000 travelling fans on Saturday, and had banned himself from attending matches.

After a three-game absence, however, he chose to return at Loftus Road.

Although QPR controlled the encounter, they struggled to break through until the introduction of Charlie Austin.

The striker took only two minutes after entering the fray to break the deadlock, heading home from a corner kick. From there, Leeds never looked likely to equalise.

An absence of experience has been a clear issue for the Whites this season, with Liam Bridcutt brought in on loan from Sunderland last Thursday in an attempt to fix that.

He made his first start, replacing Luke Murphy, while Charlie Taylor returned from glandular fever to take the place of the suspended Gaetano Berardi.

Both were hailed by head coach Steve Evans for their displays, but they were two minor lights in an otherwise dismal performance.

When asked to explain Saturday’s loss and the similarly bad result against Rotherham the week prior, Cooper said: “I don’t know. The manager keeps saying that football is a game of fine lines, and he is right. If we don’t concede that goal, we go home with a clean sheet and a good point. I can’t really put my finger on it at the minute.

“I can block out what’s going on (behind the scenes at Elland Road) personally, but the young lads who are maybe not as experienced might struggle a bit. It’s not something we talk about every day.

“I always say to the young lads that if you need anything, I’m there. I’m pretty young myself, but I like to see myself as a pretty experienced player. I’d say to them come and see me no matter what.”

Queens Park Rangers: Green; Perch, Hall, Onuoha, Konchesky; Petrasso (Austin, 55), Faurlin, Sandro, Yun (Chery, 55), Hoilett; Phillips. Unused substitutes: Smithies, Henry, Luongo, Angella, Tozser.

Leeds United: Silvestri; Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor; Mowatt (Botaka, 66), Bridcutt, Cook, Dallas; Antenucci (Erwin, 80), Wood. Unused substitutes: Peacock-Farrell, Byram, Adeyemi, Murphy, Doukara.

Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside).

Man of the match: Charlie Austin.