LEEDS UNITED boss Thomas Christiansen claimed his side are getting back to their best after n overdue win against Yorkshire rivals Barnsley at Oakwell.
After a brilliant start to life in the Elland Road dugout, the 44-year-old’s position had come under scrutiny after a run of eight defeats from 10 games and a visit to Oakwell, where United have won just once in 20 years, would not have been the most appealing prospect.
But they put in a performance for their boss and first-half goals from Samuel Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski wrapped up a convincing three points with a 2-0 win which puts them back on the tail of the play-off pack.
“For me it is another three points, for the players it is important to build on the confidence,” said Christiansen said.
“The team is back, we are hoping the results will improve now. I am very pleased for the players to take three points.
“We had two very difficult games against teams who have been in the Premier League (Middlesbrough and Wolves) and then a derby where we have not done well. It has been a very good week.
“That was our mission, to come here and try and take the three points, we did the good performance and this is was what we needed to try and be positive going forward.
“We made a good start because we did the things we had to do. We had to equalise their intensity and then our quality came through. The two goals were very important, to go to half-time with the score like that.”
Saiz opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when he was allowed unlimited space and advanced unchallenged before unleashing an effort that went through the hands of goalkeeper Adam Davies, who might have expected to save it.
One of their lads needs to learn how to celebrate and have a it of class about them rather than have a go at our bench. He tried to say it wasn’t directed at me, but you don’t do thatBarnsley boss, Paul Heckingbottom
And it was 2-0 in first-half stoppage time when Alioski bent a fine curling effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to score for the fourth game in a row.
Barnsley had to wait until the 77th minute to register their first shot on target and never looked like getting back into it as their week ended with a second successive home defeat.
Boss Paul Heckingbottom was also unhappy with the way Leeds celebrated their second goal.
He said: “Someone needs to have a bit more class about themselves when they score a goal, someone said something when they scored, that’s all that was.
“One of their lads needs to learn how to celebrate and have a it of class about them rather than have a go at our bench. He tried to say it wasn’t directed at me, but you don’t do that.”
On the game, he added: “(There have not been) many games this season where we have been second best but we were today.
“There was difference in the qualities; their big-time players performed and we didn’t. We were second best. It was one of those days where we weren’t at our best. We lacked quality in both boxes.”