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Leeds United 1 Norwich 0: Starting to believe we belong at the top, says Christiansen

Pontus Jansson celebrates the win.
Pontus Jansson celebrates the win.
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Leeds head coach Thomas Christiansen says his young side are starting to regain the belief that they are Sky Bet Championship play-off contenders after the 1-0 victory over Norwich at Elland Road.

United’s season was in danger of spiraling out of control when an impressive start was undone by a run of six defeats in seven league matches.

But Christiansen’s team have responded in emphatic fashion over the last month to collect 13 points from a possible 18 and move one off the top six.

Leeds followed up last weekend’s 3-1 victory over QPR with a hard-fought win over Norwich, which was sealed by Pontus Jansson’s first-half header.

And Christiansen believes a renewed confidence is behind Leeds’ upturn in fortunes.

“I am very pleased with the performance and with the three points,” said Christiansen, who confirmed striker Caleb Ekuban will be sidelined for up to six weeks with another foot injury.

“A victory that gives us more confidence and belief that this is where we belong - close to the top six.

“It is important the position where we are, how we play and how we take the results, especially after the bad results that we had.

“But the response has been good. They are believing in the possibilities that we have within the squad. And now we have taken a very positive result.”

Jansson scored his second header from a set-piece in as many home games, glancing Pawel Cibicki’s delivery in off the far post in the 41st minute.

And Christiansen puts Leeds’ threat from set-pieces down to the work of specialist coach Gianni Vio, who was appointed by the club in November.

“I believe he is one of the best in his job,” Christiansen added.

“This is why we brought him here. But it always takes time to adapt to a new coach and a new system. Hopefully it continues.”

Norwich boss Daniel Farke was left frustrated by his side’s failure to score an equaliser.

Alex Pritchard was denied by a fine save from goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald before curling another effort against the crossbar as the match headed for the latter stages.

“It is frustrating and disappointing to travel home without any points,” Farke said.

“I got the feeling it was a really good away performance. But, if I have to criticise, we have to be a little bit more effective.

“In a really hard away game at Leeds, I don’t think you can create many more chances. We had two or three big chances but today we were not effective enough.”