LEEDS UNITED midfielder Adam Forshaw believes the “hands-on” approach of new head coach Paul Heckingbottom will soon start paying dividends.
The Elland Road club slipped to a 2-1 derby defeat at Sheffield United in their first game since Thomas Christiansen’s departure.
It extended United’s winless run to eight games and left Heckingbottom’s new charges eight points adrift of the top six.
Nevertheless, Forshaw is adamant that the play-offs are still an attainable goal and points to the arrival of the new head coach as justification for such optimism.
“He has been great,” said the £3m January signing from Middlesbrough. “He seems really good and a really nice guy. He wants to coach and I think he wants to improve you as a player, first and foremost.
“The lads need to work hard and really put some effort and performances in for him because he really wants to improve us as players. He has been really hands-on.
“He has shown us what he wants in terms of pressing and setting up, with and without the balla, and then what he wants us to do with it. Obviously he hasn’t had loads of time in terms of days yet so we, as players, are looking forward to the week ahead.”
United are next in action on Sunday at home to Bristol City in front of the live Sky cameras.
Following on from the trip to Bramall Lane, the clash is the second of five consecutive games against teams sitting above Leeds in the table.
Such a run offers a chance to rein in rivals for the top six, something that Forshaw believes will suit the club he joined just last month.
“It is not over until it is over,” said Forshaw when asked about United’s chances of gate-crashing the top six. “We have got 15 games to go and still have the teams above us to play.”
As for his own settling in period, the midfielder added: “The lads have been brilliant and the new staff that have come in are great as well. It’s been easy for me really. We went away (on a training camp) to Murcia and it was a great chance for me to bed in. I just wanted to get on the pitch and start playing.
“I have played three 90 minutes now and I feel like I am getting back to some sort of full fitness for myself after my calf injury. I’m enjoying it.
“Unfortunately we haven’t picked up a lot of points in the time I have been here. But I can see the progress, I can see where we are trying to go with it.”