AS LEEDS UNITED suffered FA Cup humiliation in front of the live TV cameras last Sunday, Eunan O’Kane could only watch in frustration at home.
It had been the same story a little under a year earlier when non-League Sutton United dumped the Yorkshire club out of the same competition at the fourth-round stage.
So, as the squad reconvened at Thorp Arch on Monday morning, O’Kane knew the drill if spirits were to be lifted.
“Those of us who weren’t there (at Newport County) have just been normal,” said the 27-year-old, rested for the 2-1 defeat to the League Two outfit.
“We have been lively. There was a conversation about the match at the weekend in the first day back in.
“It can be difficult (when not involved). You become fans for the day, but then you have to come in and pick your team-mates up.
“There was a lot of disappointment. Everyone was extremely disappointed with the result and exiting the Cup.
“But there is no point dwelling on it for too long a period. It has happened, we can’t fix it at the moment. The thing is we have got other things to fight for.
“We have got a big game against Ipswich in the league and we are fighting to achieve something. So, we need to put what happened last Sunday behind us.”
Victory at an Ipswich side hoping to make a concerted push for the top six in the final 20 games would, of course, be a great start.
We have got a big game against Ipswich in the league and we are fighting to achieve something. So, we need to put what happened last Sunday behind us.Leeds United’s Eunan O’Kane
Mick McCarthy’s side may have also crashed out of the Cup last weekend, Sheffield United emerging victorious at Portman Road.
But the Tractor Boys are tough opponents on their home turf, meaning Leeds will have to be much improved on last Sunday’s sorry efforts in south Wales.
“I spoke to Pontus (Jansson) yesterday and we both said it feels like it has been a long time for this match to come around,” added O’Kane. “But we are all eager to get going and put Newport behind us. It was a bit more difficult to take in because it was a team in a lower division and we were expected to win comfortably. But that is football and these upsets happen.”
As for the battle for promotion, O’Kane added: “It is definitely within reach. We need to put ourselves in a position towards the end of February or March to give ourselves the best chance of being in that race.
“I will be honest, if we get promoted by the play-offs or by finishing second, I don’t care as long as we get promoted.”