Leeds need to earn respect of league rivals, urges Redfearn

Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn.
Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn.
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Neil Redfearn wants Leeds United to evolve into a side that no team fancies playing in the Championship.

The Whites are eight points outside the play-offs when they resume play after the inetrnational break tomorrow with a a trip to Blackburn Rovers.

It’s the first game in a sequence of tough-looking fixtures for Leeds.

Derby County, who head the division with 32 points, come to Elland Road next weekend and Leeds will play Ipswich Town, Fulham, Nottingham Forest, Wigan Athletic and Derby again before the start of January.

“It’s not so much crunch time,” Redfearn said, “but it is a tough run of games.

“We’ve got to get ourselves into a position where we’re more consistent and more thorough so Blackburn look and think, ‘oh, we’ve got Leeds on Saturday’; so Ipswich think ‘oh, we’ve got Leeds on Saturday’; so Derby think ‘we don’t fancy going there.’

“We’ve got to make them think about us so the more consistent we are and the more we portray that image, the better we’ll be.

“At the moment I think other teams aren’t sure about us. They’re not sure what they’re going to get.

“They realise that on our day we’re a decent side and Leeds United coming to town is a big deal. Slowly we’re getting to a position where we’re carrying that tag better.

“But we have to reduce the difference between our maximum and our minimum. It needs to be closer together.”

United will have a near full-strength squad at Ewood Park with Giuseppe Bellusci, Billy Sharp and Tommaso Bianchi all fit after minor injuries.

Rodolph Austin will be assessed on his return from international duty with Jamaica today.

Aidan White and Lewis Walters are still absent, however, and on-loan AC Milan midfielder Zan Benedicic is beginning his recovery from knee surgery.