Michael Skubala proud of Leeds United but disappointed not to claim Manchester United victory as caretaker manager

It was a measure of Leeds Unied's performance at Old Trafford that caretaker manager Michael Skubala said he was "disappointed" not to come away with victory.

This despite the fact he had only 20 minutes to prepare the team's shape after being handed temporary control of the team after Monday's training session.

The Whites took a 2-0 lead through Willy Gnonto and a Rafael Varane own goal, and although the hosts responded with goals from Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, Leeds hit the post with a Brenden Aaronson free-kick in between time.

PRIDE: Leeds United caretaker manager Michael Skubala with Manchester United's Erik Ten HagPRIDE: Leeds United caretaker manager Michael Skubala with Manchester United's Erik Ten Hag
PRIDE: Leeds United caretaker manager Michael Skubala with Manchester United's Erik Ten Hag
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"I'm really proud of the players, I thought they did really well," said under-21 coach Skubala, asked to take the team as the search for Jesse Marsch's permanent successor goes on. "It's a tough place to come.

"We did a good job. I was a little bit disappointed because I thought we did enough to win the game. I tried to be pragmatic but win the game.

"I'm really pleased."

The reverse fixture is at Elland Road on Sunday, a match Skubala does not yet know if he will be in charge of. Chris Armas and Paco Gallardo assisted him on Wednesday but it was clear he was the man in charge.

Asked what he said to the team before the game, Skubala said: "Let's have a good structure, let's be hard to beat and when we can be free let's go and attack them and try and score goals. Be positive.

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"Without giving too much away because we've got another game against them on Sunday (the plan was) not to be passive, to be aggressive, to be free and try and attack them.

"The most rewarding part was how in the last moments we saw out the game.

"We got to a place where I thought we could win it but they have really good quality, we know that, and at the end we had to dig deep and they had to show their personality to get a point.

"In situations like this you need to rely on the strong leaders in the group and they've been amazing – Coops (Liam Cooper), Luke Ayling, even Max Wober, even Illan (Meslier), they're all good leaders in their own right.

"You need your leaders to rally the young players."

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Skubala revealed just how little preparation he had been able to do for the game.

"All I've done in the last 48 hours is concentrate on the group and the team," he said when asked if he had been told he would be in charge at the weekend. "I don't know what's going on, I'm just here to support the club. That's it, really.

"(We did) 20 minutes of shape. It's difficult.

"I think they were really concentrated. We did the analysis and the video because it was matchday plus two (ie two days after the last game).

"It was not a lot, but enough."

Leeds were in front after a minute when Pascal Struijk and Tyler Adams won possession off Bruno Fernandes and the Italian exchanged passes with Patrick Bamford before scoring.

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"I think we've been good at that all season, We've been good at pressing, being compact and going when the time is right," he said. "I think we just carried that over into this game and that's why we scored earlier.

"This is a tough place to get a point, they're a really good team. It was really good to go 2-0 up and I'm really proud that they held out for a point for the club."

Leeds, who were without Liam Cooper and Marc Roca through minor injuries lost Luis Sinisterra to injury and Struijk to concussion in the first 25 minutes. Protocols mean the Dutch defender is almost certain to miss Sunday's match against the Red Devils.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he had "mixed feelings" about the result.

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"Beforehand we had to win this game and when you create so many chances, you have to win this game but if you start each half the way we did, it's unacceptable," he said.

"But I have to pay compliments to the team for the way they are resilient and they way they fight back. They played some really good football.

"The opponent was (on the) front foot, aggressive and winning challenges and we lost all the battles in the first minutes of each half.

"If you win your battles it's not possible to concede the goals we did."