HEAD coach Uwe Rosler is braced for a serious test of “pace and counter attacking football” from Birmingham City in Saturday’s Championship showdown at Elland Road.
Fifteenth-placed Leeds are still seeking their first home win of the season under Rosler and United have not savoured victory at Elland Road since the 2-1 triumph against Ipswich Town on the first Wednesday in March.
But fifth-placed Birmingham are still unbeaten on their travels this term and Rosler is acutely aware of the pacey threat they pose ahead of United’s fifth game of the season at Elland Road.
Rosler feels United are about to take on “one of the best away sides in the division” and warned: “We have seen Birmingham now three times live and we know what we will face.
“I think that was a decent performance from us at Middlesbrough and the scoreline was not reflective of the performance.
“I tried to keep it positive to the players because when you can do that to Middlesbrough away from home you also should be capable of doing that home against Birmingham.
“But Birmingham will be very much a counter attacking football team and we have analysed them - back to basics counter attack.
“That’s what we will face and we have to prepare ourselves for that.
“They have key players and key qualities in key areas and they have Clayton Donladson who I know very well plus (Demarai) Gray and (David) Cotterrill - pace.
“MK Dons and Brentford had over 500 passes against them and they had 190 and 220 so it’s a team who knows what they are doing with a very good morale, compact and hitting you, waiting for the mistakes you do on the ball and hitting you on the counter.
“We will have a lot of the ball and we have to find ways to score. That is what all this week has been about.”
Asked about the need to end a seven-month wait for a home win, Rosler said: “Thanks for reminding me it’s been seven months!
“We knew there was an issue before we came and we are working on the issue. Please believe me that we are trying to get to the bottom of this and we know what we have to do.
“But we also have to remember we are dealing with human beings and we are not machines.
“I think it’s important that we knocking on that door very hard and we play the game in the way we want to play the game - we force our tactic on the opposition.
“We realise that we are playing against one of the best away teams in the league but we are focusing on how we want to play.
“We are not dramatising the fact that we have not won at home but we are desperate to give our supporters that win and I say that before every home game.
“And I think when we win the first one many will follow.”
Asked if United were ‘on target’ for where he wanted them to be after nine games of the season, Rosler added: “I can tell you after the game on Saturday if we are on target or not.
“We gave a points target to the players after these (recent) five games we have had and also a position target.
“The position target we can definitely achieve and the points target we can get very close to. It depends a lot on Saturday’s game.”