DEFENDER Ben White has dismissed any talk of nerves afflicting Leeds United’s players – with the club enduring a mid-season blip for the second successive Championship campaign.
Second-placed Leeds saw the gap between themselves and the side just outside of the automatic promotion positions in in-form Brentford fall to six points following Saturday’s disappointing 2-0 home reverse to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
It extended Leeds’s worrying recent sequence to one victory in six league games, while heightening the need to bring in another proven forward to boost their firepower ahead of a critical run to the end of the season following the loan return of Eddie Nketiah.
Southampton forward Che Adams remains Leeds’s No 1 target, while Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp, a former Whites player, represents another option – though Derby County are also interested in the 33-year-old.
Ex-Blades frontman Adams is said to be keen on heading to Leeds, but Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has reportedly stressed that he wants to keep the 23-year-old, who remains a valued member of his squad.
The South Coast club rebuffed an opening offer to sign Adams. They have yet to respond to a fresh bid from Leeds.
I just focus on what I am doing in the game and that is all really. It is not really something that impacts me.Ben White
This time last month, Leeds – who remain in talks with Manchester City over a deal to sign England under-20 winger Ian Poveda, 19 – were 11 points clear of third place, but despite the gap diminishing, White is remaining calm.
On whether there are any nerves prevalent at Leeds, who suffered three defeats in four league matches in a post-Christmas stutter last term, White said: “Not really, no.
“I do not really take any notice of anything like that when I am playing.
“I just focus on what I am doing in the game and that is all really. It is not really something that impacts me.
“Losing is never nice. But we will pick ourselves up and go again this week and looking for the three points. We will just keep going.
“I do not want to just stay in the Championship, I am looking to play in the Premier League and hopefully we can do it with Leeds.”
It is not just Leeds who are suffering from a dip in form, with leaders West Brom – ahead of the Whites on goal difference – without a win in five league matches with Slaven Bilic’s side having won just once in their last seven Championship outings.
Loan centre-half White believes it is indicative of acompetitive division and the fact that twists and turns are guaranteed.
He added: “I am sure there will (be more). It is never easy it and it never goes exactly how you want it and I am sure there will be games where we do not pick up the points that we want. Overall I think we will just keep going and do as well as we can.”
With Nketiah now back at Arsenal and Leeds yet to make a significant transfer breakthrough on the striking front, the pressure of expectation remains firmly on the shoulders of top-scorer Patrick Bamford.
Saturday proved a frustrating day for the forward, but White remains confident that Bamford will provide a regular input of goals if the chances come his way.
He said: “We have Patrick upfront and he is an unbelievable goalscorer, so there is no worry there. We did not have many chances in the second half (on Saturday). If the chances are there, I am sure Pat would have put them away.”
Leeds are expected to sign teenage goalkeeper Elia Caprile, who was in the city over the weekend and attended the Owls game. His move from Chievo Verona is pending FA ratification.
Leeds defender Laurens De Bock has joined Dutch side ADO Den Haag on loan.