LEEDS UNITED head coach Thomas Christiansen has expressed disappointment at the barracking from sections of home supporters towards substitute Jay-Roy Grot during the latter stages of Saturday’s 1-0 Championship home win over Norwich City.
The Dutch teenager, 19, who has endured a low-key start to his career at Elland Road following his £1.5m summer transfer from NEC Nijmegen, was jeered after coming on as a late replacement for Samuel Saiz.
Grot is yet to find the net for Leeds, with his treatment by some fans representing the downside to an afternoon that saw the Whites move a point behind sixth-placed Sheffield United, who lost 1-0 at Preston.
Christiansen said: “I think we have a problem – to criticise one of our players. We speak about having to stay together and we stay together in the best and the worst. Whatever, we are always together.
“All the players are important for me and he is one.”
A goal just before the break from Pontus Jansson earned United their fourth victory in six games and continued their renaissance since the last international break, with Christiansen delighted with his side’s meaningful response.
The Leeds head coach, who confirmed that striker Caleb Ekuban is likely to be out for six weeks after suffering a foot injury at QPR two weekends ago, added: “I am very pleased with the performance.
“It is a victory which will give us more confidence and belief that this is where we belong – close to the top six.
“Of course, we want to finish the first round (half of the season) in that position.
“The response has been good as has the belief that we have in the squad, which have been there always.
“This is a positive reaction.
“This was a difficult game against a good opponent who came in following a win last week. They probably came with an idea to take one point and that it put a little bit more pressure on us before the start.
“But we handled the situation quite well and deserved the three points.”
I think we have a problem – to criticise one of our players. We speak about having to stay together and we stay together in the best and the worst. Whatever, we are always together.Leeds United head coach, Thomas Christiansen
In contrast to Leeds’s resurgence, Middlesbrough’s post international break slump continued with a 2-1 loss at Millwall, their fourth defeat in their past six games – intensifying pressure on the shoulders of former Whites boss Garry Monk.
Meanwhile, the Blades saw their winless streak extend to five games in a narrow loss at Deepdale, their longest run without a win under Chris Wilder.
Barnsley ended a five-match losing sequence with a hard-fought draw at Brentford while Hull City – who travel to play Leeds on Saturday – lost 1-0 at Cardiff City.