NEIL REDFEARN has urged Leeds United’s squad to believe in themselves and focus on the “bigger picture” when they go in search of a sorely-needed away win at Nottingham Forest tomorrow.
The club’s head coach held his hands up to a bad fortnight in which Leeds were heavily beaten at Ipswich Town and edged out by a single goal at home to Fulham but he insisted again his side had shown steady improvement since his full-time appointment eight weeks ago.
United fell to 19th in the Championship after Fulham’s 1-0 win at Elland Road last weekend and the five-point gap between Redfearn’s squad and the bottom three could shrink ahead of their game tomorrow with Leeds due to kick-off a televised fixture at the City Ground at 5.15pm.
Redfearn is preparing to make changes to his starting line-up in response to the club’s last two results and a poor run of away form which has hampered their league position throughout the season.
United’s win at Championship leaders Bournemouth in September is their only away victory of the team and the likes of Michael Tonge and Rodolph Austin could be in line for a rare start at Forest as Redfearn attempts to tighten up his team.
His seven matches as full-time head coach have yielded seven points but the 49-year-old, who unveiled new assistant boss Steve Thompson yesterday, said: “The players have done really well. It’s easy to look at the last result or the last thing that’s happened but we’ve got to look at the bigger picture.
“Since we changed it (the head coach’s position) we’ve got better. That’s got to be the overriding feeling. It’s not right yet and we’re not where we need to be but we are getting there.
“After I came in the performances got better, culminating in the result against Derby a couple of weeks ago.
At Ipswich we didn’t play anywhere near like we can and we huffed and puffed against Fulham.
“If we’d won against Fulham nobody would have batted an eyelid because of the number of chances we had but that wasn’t us. It didn’t look like us. We just ran out of steam.
“We’re getting out of a fragile period and it does take time but the signs have been good. I’ve said before that we’ve got to be strong at this club.”